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ERIC Number: EJ1156387
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
The Challenge That's Bigger than Fake News: Civic Reasoning in a Social Media Environment
McGrew, Sarah; Ortega, Teresa; Breakstone, Joel; Wineburg, Sam
American Educator, v41 n3 p4-9, 39 Fall 2017
Since the November 2016 presidential election, coverage of "fake news" has been everywhere. It's hard to turn on the TV without hearing the term. Google and Facebook have pitched plans for fighting the menace. State legislators have even introduced bills to mandate K-12 instruction on the topic. Fake news is certainly a problem. Sadly, however, it's not our biggest. Fact-checking organizations like Snopes and PolitiFact can help us detect canards invented by enterprising Macedonian teenagers, but the Internet is filled with content that defies labels like "fake" or "real." Determining who's behind information and whether it's worthy of our trust is more complex than a true/false dichotomy. Today's students are more likely to learn about the world through social media than through traditional sources like print newspapers. It's critical that students know how to evaluate the content that flashes on their screens. Unfortunately, research conducted by the Stanford History Education Group demonstrates they don't. In this article, the authors describe three of their assessments. Their findings are troubling. Yet they believe that gauging students' ability to evaluate online content is the first step in figuring out how best to support them.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (Los Angeles); Minnesota (Minneapolis)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A