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Life Skills

Misinformation: What Can We Trust? (Ages 13-17)

In this critical thinking class, students will learn about misinformation in the news and social media, and how human psychology and bias may cause us to fall for bad information. They will gain important media literacy and research skills.
David Schwarz, MBDS, Critical Thinking
8 total reviews for this teacher
6 reviews for this class
Completed by 14 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
55 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 4 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

This class is taught in English.
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 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.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
55 minutes per week in class, and no time outside of class.
In this course, we will broach some politically sensitive topics. This will occur primarily in the second week of the class. 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.
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,, 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
Lives in the United States
Decision making, critical thinking, internet safety, bias, psychology, media literacy, scientific method and statistical reasoning.
8 total reviews
7 completed classes

About Me

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. 

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