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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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14. Sleuthing for the Truth: A Reading and Writing Pedagogy for the New Age of Lies



The image in Fig. 14.1, showing a large pack of timber wolves, has been posted many times on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Inc, as well as on the websites of business and entrepreneurial consultants, and is accompanied by the following (verbatim) description:

A little food for thought … The three wolves in front are old & sick; they walk in front to set the pace of the whole pack so they will never be left behind. The next five are the strongest and best; their task is to protect the front side if there is an attack. The five wolves at the tail of the group are also among the strongest; they are in charge of protecting the back side from any possible threat. The group in the middle is always protected from any attack. The very last wolf is the LEADER. He ensures that no one is ever left behind and he keeps the pack united on the same path. So if anyone wants to know what it really means to be a leader here is your answer. A true leader never leaves anyone behind but cares for each and every member of the “pack,” laying the foundations of a society built upon humanity, care and respect.

On the surface, the photo’s explanation might inspire people as they scroll through their social media sites. After all, there is nothing troubling...

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