Over the past few years, several state legislatures have considered strengthening media literacy skills instruction in schools based on recent research findings. But how can teachers instruct students to become critical consumers of media if politicians falsely label credible sources of information as “fake news?”
Sexual education in public schools has long been a controversial topic. But state legislatures must take a closer look at comprehensive health education laws if educators are to address medically accurate information with students and stop spreading disinformation.
Columbia County, Georgia, Superintendent Sandra Carraway has limited students’ access to Nic Stone’s novel Dear Martin, calling it unacceptable and extreme. But as editor and publisher Phoebe Yeh responds, the book provides an accessible way for students to understand what is happening in their own backyards.
Instead of focusing mainly on fake websites when teaching information literacy skills, teachers should introduce the term disinformation and provide students with learning opportunities to explore the detrimental effects disinformation has on society.
Attempts at censorship in children’s publishing are nothing new. However, the rising popularity of organizations like We Need Diverse Books, which strives to represent all types of people in book publishing, strikes conservatives such as Joy Pullman, executive editor of The Federalist, as indoctrination. As the American Library Association prepares to celebrate Banned Books Week this month, learn more about why children need diverse books more than ever.
Readers around the world are eagerly anticipating historical fiction novelist Ruta Sepetys’s new book, The Fountains of Silence, to be published on October 1, 2019. Read an interview with the author to learn more about the setting of her newest example of hidden history, life under dictator General Francisco Franco in Spain after the Spanish Civil War.
Banned Books Week is September 22-28, 2019. Get ready to help your students celebrate their intellectual freedom rights by creating various activities to learn more about censoring books, silencing history, restricting education, and more.
On July 12, the world celebrates the birthday of Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist, author, and speaker, Malala Yousafzai. While perhaps most widely known for being shot in the head by a member of the Taliban on the way home from school and surviving, Malala was an outspoken advocate of girls’ rights and education before that. Make plans for the children and young adults in your libraries and classrooms to discover her work and message.
Students do not necessarily jump for joy if you tell them they will be learning about intellectual freedom and the First Amendment. However, many of these concepts are included in national and state-level learning and library standards and are important for them to learn about as citizens and future voters. Read more for ideas on how school librarians and teachers can actively engage teen learners in the critical thinking necessary to reach these learning goals.
Dwindling local school budgets, increasing technology, and conflicting values can all contribute to the elimination of public and school librarian positions. However, these positions are critical to maintain in order to preserve principles of intellectual freedom in schools and in society.