The importance of critical thinking (Election post 2)

48 Hours since the election and not a word from my students about it. Let me tell you, I think eight and nine-year-olds haven’t totally established object permanence (out of sight, out of mind!)

My post today is about another conversation I had with a student yesterday who told me that on Facebook he saw that a rapper was going to assassinate Trump. I had to think quickly the best way to respond because there are many things about that statement that needed to be addressed. The first thing I told him is “Does that sound right to you?” And my student just gave me a little smile, so I offered some more advice “You can’t always believe everything you see on Facebook or the internet. When you see something like that, you need to tell yourself ‘Stop! Does this sound right? I better check this with another source.’ ”

I worry everyone!! I worry about our students’ instant access to information, especially because young children have the ability to believe almost anything they see or hear. (Jaswal. 2010) I worry that students will be taken advantage of by false information.

As a future school librarian, I see the need for our students to think critically and evaluate information to seek the truth. And with increasing access to information at students fingertips (literally) we need to help them learn to think critically! I don’t have all the answers of how to do this, but I know many in the library science field in both school and public settings are working hard to help students and adults evaluate information. But what can we do in our classrooms? Teach students the stop step.

When you read something that doesn’t seem quite right, the first thing to do is say “Stop! This doesn’t sound right. I better check this with another source.” OR “Stop! This sounds too good to be true. I better check this with another source.”

The other important step is to advocate for school librarians and certified library personnel in ALL schools. This is a critical component for our students to learn how to evaluate information.

Learn more here:

School Librarians Matter!

AASL Kit for promoting school libraries

Scholastic: School Libraries Work! 2016



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