Media literacy is urgently important, but the lack of a universal skill set for the discipline challenges teachers, finds a new report by the research firm RAND Corp.
The report is the latest installment in RAND’s study of what it calls “truth decay,” or the blurring of the lines between opinion and objective fact. The pressure on schools to prioritize reading and math, coupled with the difficulty the education system faces in adapting to rapid change, means that students aren’t always learning how to be critical consumers of information, the report suggests.
Media literacy instruction isn’t just about fact-checking, and teachers should acknowledge complexity, the report says. Teachers should work with students to develop other media literacy skills, like evaluating the process that creates a product. Understanding the standards for scientific research gives students more context when they’re trying to decide what is trustworthy and what they should share.
A version of this article appeared in the July 17, 2019 edition of Education Week as Media Literacy