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Teaching Critical Reading and Writing in the Era of Fake News


Edited By Ellen C. Carillo and Alice S. Horning

This collection offers support for instructors who are concerned about students’ critical literacy abilities. Attending to critical reading to help students navigate fake news, as well as other forms of disinformation and misinformation, is the job of instructors across all disciplines, but is especially important for college English instructors because students’ reading problems play out in many and varied ways in students’ writing. The volume includes chapters that analyze the current information landscape by examining assorted approaches to the wide-ranging types of materials available on and offline and offers strategies for teaching critical reading and writing in first-year composition and beyond. The chapters herein bring fresh perspectives on a range of issues, including ways to teach critical digital reading, ecological models that help students understand fake news, and the ethical questions that inform teaching in such a climate. With each chapter offering practical, research-based advice this collection underscores not just the importance of attending to reading, particularly in the era of fake news, but precisely how to do so.

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5. What Is ‘Fake News’? Walls, Fences, and Immigration: How Community-Based Learning Can Prompt Students to Employ Critical Reading and Research Practices



“Before, I recognized that there were a lot of issues surrounding immigration in this country, in this world, but when you come into a class like this and you put yourself into that community and you see the faces, you can’t help but be like, ‘I don’t care what is going in on in my life, I want to learn more about this right now.’ ”

—Marie, Student Editor, Green Card Youth Voices: Stories from an Atlanta High School

“Before this I always knew that a lot of decisions are made by government officials, but after this project, I realized that citizens play a role too. If we are informed, it is better for the community. I will now follow the narratives I hear in the media more closely and differently than before.”

—Melissa, Student Editor, Immigration Integration Toolkit

An October 2018 report entitled How Students Engage with News: Five Takeaways for Educators, Journalists, and Librarians reveals interesting details about college students’ news consumption: while 82% surveyed advised they feel news is essential to democracy, 68% reported they were overwhelmed by the amount of news available each day, and 45% reported it difficult to discern “fake news” from “real news” (Head et al., p. 14). In addition, students reported they obtain their news from multiple sources, including social media sites and established national media outlets as well as through conversations with professors...

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