NewsLiteracyPlaybook - Flipbook - Page 19
News Literacy and Civics Education
News Literacy and
For decades, civics education in the United States
was largely based on rote memorization of facts
considered important in U.S. history. Anecdotally,
students in middle grades spent more time
memorizing the preamble to the Constitution (“We
the people of the United States …”) than learning the
relevance of the rights and freedoms set out in that
document. Internationally, this was the case as well;
as recently as the 1990s, when former dictatorships
and Communist countries became democracies,
students had to learn a new set of facts: the nuts
and bolts of how a democratic form of government
Today, civics education is focused on understanding
and applying that knowledge so students can become
active and engaged participants in the life of their
communities and countries. And if civic engagement
is about being connected to the life of the community,
then students must be informed about — and
understand — the things going on around them. This is
the role of news literacy education.
The Checkology virtual classroom has been integrated into social
studies lessons at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia.
There are two key areas where news literacy and civics intersect in
Students must build knowledge about journalism, mass media and other information and
understand how this information is created and published.
Students must strengthen their ability to critically analyze their existing media preferences —
especially the use of social media as a source for news.