Misinformation in the News? Become a Human Lie Detector (Ages 13-17)
In this critical thinking class, students learn about misinformation in the news and social media, and how human psychology and bias can cause us to fall for bad information. Learners will gain media literacy and research skills. #superstar
David Schwarz, MBDS, Critical Thinking
19 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 6 learners
learners per class
$16 per class
Meets 5x per week
Over 1 week
55 minutes per class
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False and misleading information is everywhere. This 5-session course is designed to help students identify misinformation, understand why people fall for it, and explain how we can navigate a world filled with it. In the first class, students learn the psychological reasons why people fall for misinformation. Among other things, we will cover • how human bias and group identity can lead us astray • an examination of conspiracy theories and their appeal In the second and third classes, we...
The main purpose of the class is to teach students how to think, not what to think. It is about learning how to critically assess information to see if it is true or not.
In 2020, I earned a Master’s degree in Behavioral and Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. This course is a direct reflection of what I learned in that program. The main theme of this class is how human bias (in its many forms) can make us susceptible to falling for misinformation, and how we can be aware of these biases. Additionally, I will teach examples of good statistical reasoning and common statistical mistakes – coursework that comes from what I learned at the University of Pennsylvania (and explained simply for a younger audience). I have experience using the scientific method in the social sciences, and in writing research reports that focus significantly on the theme of bias. I have kept up-to-date on the latest research published in this field. I am also familiar with practical solutions used to fight misinformation in real world. This course also covers journalistic standards, and the role that the media plays in informing – and sometimes misinforming – the public. I have experience in journalism. In high school, I was Editor-in-Chief of a school newspaper that was awarded the best in Washington State. The newspaper also won national recognition with a Pacemaker award. I have teaching experience as undergraduate at Haverford College. As a teacher’s assistant, I taught Philosophy to 18 and 19 year-olds. I use games to teach critical thinking to kids at Synthesis. I have coached youth soccer for many years. I strive to teach my kids something new every day! I have taught them the material in this course.
4 hours 35 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
In this course, we will broach some politically sensitive topics. Students will look at headlines from various news organizations. We will discuss the nature of conspiracy theories, many of which involve violence. We will discuss misinformation as it pertains to COVID, among other topics. I will not promote a political agenda. On the contrary, I will highlight misinformation that originates from across the political spectrum. Also, please note that in this course, students will be encouraged to answer quiz-style questions via an outside resource -- the Kahoot platform. Kahoot does not require students to have an account; it does not collect any private information. Students may opt out, if desired, without missing out on much, as this is a minor part of the class. Also, students may also be encouraged to conduct internet research online during the class, but can opt out, as well.
Many sources contributed to the content of this class; several hundred hours have been devoted to creating this curriculum. My sources include academic research from the foremost experts on this topic – scholars from the University of Cambridge, the University of Regina, the University of Pennsylvania, MIT, and NYU. I use the book Thinking and Deciding by Jonathan Baron as a source to cover the field of Judgment and Decision Making. I use sources such as Crash Course and the News Literacy Project to bolster our understanding of media literacy. Fact checkers such as Snopes, Factcheck.org, and the Washington Post Fact Checker are used as sources. It is important to me to expose students to a range of different viewpoints. In the class, we will look at stories as reported by a variety of news organizations – The New York Times, Fox News, Reuters, Vox, the Wall Street Journal, and more -- with the goal of learning the many sides to an issue. I try to watch every video, listen to every podcast, and read every article on the topic of misinformation. I am constantly fascinated by the human ability to get things wrong, and what we can do to get things right.
David Schwarz, MBDS, Critical Thinking
Decision making, critical thinking, internet safety, bias, psychology, media literacy, scientific method and statistical reasoning.
🇺🇸Lives in the United States
19 total reviews
23 completed classes
Hello, everyone! I'm David. I have a Master's degree in Behavioral and Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. This background will inform the classes I teach. Right now I am offering a class about combating misinformation. My...