Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teaching for Tomorrow ~ Political Edition

Today's reading talked about how we are constantly bombarded with media messages through a number of sources online and in social media and many of those messages are political.  A problem is that often this can be one of the main ways that people engage with politics.  A recent article spoke about how a high percentage of Americans received their political news from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report which are not actually news shows.

The problem is not only that we are becoming a more and more ill-informed electorate, but that we think we are informed.  The only source of information and political discourse for many is filtered by others, some of whom are equally ill-informed.  This can be seen in the comments sections on sites about political news and in social media feeds everywhere.

This is not good.

In order for our society to work, we need to be able to talk and think intelligently about what is going on.  If political discourse is limited to memes and one liners. People in power can manipulate us that much easier.

An answer (again) is that we need to instill in our students some element of media literacy and civic literacy.  These are some of the lesser known 21st century skills that education experts are talking about.  If our students leave our classrooms empowered to effect change simply through intelligent voting, we will have had a significant measure of success.

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