News literacy instruction is flourishing in the wake of the 2016 election as worries about fake news grow.
This article is part of our latest Learning special report. We’re focusing on Generation Z, which is facing challenges from changing curriculums and new technology to financial aid gaps and homelessness.
The students sit at desks in groups of four, watching videos about the recent bush fires in Australia. One shows an apocalyptic landscape in flames, the other a tourist paradise, with assurances that much of the continent is safe.
Instead of dismissing both as fake news, the eighth graders know what questions to ask to tease out the nuances: Who put out the videos? What does each source have to gain? How big is Australia? Could both videos be true?
It is no wonder these students at Herbert S. Eisenberg Intermediate School 303 in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn approach their task with such sophistication. They have been studying news literacy since sixth grade in one of the only schools in the country to make the subject part of an English language arts curriculum that all students must take for an hour a week for three years.
Read more : Alina Tugend : New York Times : 20 February 2020