chapter
Introduction
Pages 10

A myth is a fictitious-or at least unproven-person, thing or belief. For this volume, the term myth is used in the more specific sense of a fallacy that is widely held to be true. According to Collins English Dictionary, a fallacy is 'an incorrect or misleading notion or opinion based on inaccurate facts or invalid reasoning'. The contributors to this book seek to expose a range of such falsehoods that have dominated educational policy-making for more than a decade. Few of them are entirely new, as we shall see. Very similar, and equally false, ideas have been popular in the past, either continuously or recurrently, which helps to give them the stature of what we might call great educational myths. Others, though exposed as fallacious in the dis­ tant past, have mutated and re-emerged in a variant form in recent years to enjoy a new lease of life. Still others are entirely new-and therefore per­ haps cannot yet claim the status of full-blown myth, even though they have already basked in the glory of articles of faith among policy-makers from both Conservative and New Labour administrations.