“You may think you are prepared for a post-truth world, in which political appeals to emotion count for more than statements of verifiable fact,” Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for The Washington Post, wrote recently. “But now it’s time to cross another bridge—into a world without facts. Or, more precisely, where facts do not matter a whit.”
Because I teach American history, government and journalism in high school, Sullivan’s words hit close to home. I spoke with my students about Mary Beth Hertz’s Edutopia post, “Battling Fake News in the Classroom,” and I sensed that many of my students, while skilled at what Hertz fittingly calls “crap detection,” were still deeply troubled by what they characterized as a growing public aversion to the truth.
When politicians and thought leaders can’t or won’t agree on a basic set of facts, how can we motivate students for the noble pursuit of truth and help them see why it still matters?
Image courtesy of PBS.