By K P Mohanan
Contrary to popular belief, what is transmitted to students through textbooks and classrooms, and what is tested in exams, are NOT facts. They are at best the rationally justified conclusions of researchers, but typically handed down to students without the justification. Also passed down as facts are definitions, and axioms, and even ideologies, dogma, and plain myths. It would therefore be desirable for educators (curriculum designers, textbook writers, and teachers) as well as students to have a broad understanding of the concepts of knowledge, fact, and truth.
The below writeup is an expanded version of the above paragraph, supplemented with preliminary reasons that support the above position.
The reasoning in many parts of the sections below call for careful attentive reading (not like reading a newspaper article), and in some cases, perhaps, more than one reading (as required, for instance, in mathematical derivations).