Finding consensus: a pilot survey in news literacy education

Megan Fromm, Assistant Professor, Colorado Mesa University and Caleb O’Brien, University of Missouri

Abstract:

This paper presents the findings of a pilot study of news literacy programs in the United States in which respondents were surveyed about the concepts, pedagogy, and assessments used. It presents an on- going lack of consensus in the field about not only what constitutes news literacy but also how news literacy is implemented in secondary and high- er education classrooms. The research is framed within the context of contemporary scholarship on best educational practices and ongoing efforts to assess both news and media literacy education. The pilot survey, funded by the McCormick Foundation and the Poynter Institute, was ad- ministered to a small sample of news literacy educators across multiple grade levels. Respondents reflected on the structure and intent of their news literacy programming and were asked to consider the role of their programming as it relates to greater departmental or institutional goals. The study finds that while educators are using a mix of best practices in assessment, such as student portfolios, a lack of consensus still exists regarding other critical elements of news literacy education and implementation, including learning objectives, main concepts, and pedagogy. The researchers suggest scholars in the field must do more to articulate the role of news literacy education in the 21st century and provide clear direction on how to implement news literacy education in the classroom.

Finding consensus: a pilot survey in news literacy education by THEAJEUK

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