Newspapers In Education Week is celebrated annually during the first full school week of March. For 2010, the NAA Foundation has created a teacher’s guide titled, Critical Thinking Through Core Curriculum: Using Print and Digital Newspapers. The guide is available for download at the bottom of the page.
The teacher’s guide, which is aligned with national learning standards, features a five-subject approach that takes advantage of the wide range of topics covered by newspapers. Topics include financial literacy, nutrition, the environment, character education and information technology. Lessons can be taught individually or as a unit.
The guide provides an opportunity to teach critical thinking through subjects that will be vital to students’ success as adults. In the age of Web sites, blogs and social networking, critical thinking is more important than ever. Everything on the Internet looks authoritative thanks to do-it-yourself templates and software, while blogs, citizen news sites and social networks add to the confusion.
All of these information sources make it ever more important for students to be able to weigh the merits of information, draw comparisons, sift competing interests and make judgments based on the reliability and track records of sources.
Because newspapers cover a wide range of topics, they provide myriad opportunities to develop students’ critical thinking skills in areas that interest them and will affect them for life.