Thursday, January 19, 2017

Science, Fake News, and Bias


GET THIS RESOURCE FREE BY CLICKING ON THE PICTURE!

We science teachers have not done our job.  Yes, we teach about dependent and independent variables, we lead students through some version of the scientific method.  We teach them about sample sizes and control groups.  We teach the difference between observation and inference, and the definitions of hypothesis and theory.

But the fact that there are adults in this country who can't differentiate between bad science and good science and are not capable of recognizing faked or biased science on social media or when reading a newspaper article or watching TV is an indictment of us.  We haven't made the connections between what scientists do in a laboratory and what the average citizen must do every day.  We need to change that.

When you and I watch an ad on T.V. for a weight loss product that promises "up to" ten pounds of weight loss in eight weeks, we scoff.  Millions of Americans click.  When you and I see a Facebook post claiming that "SHOCKING!!" new evidence has been uncovered that climate change is a "HOAX!!" we roll our eyes.  Millions of Americans "share". We have a responsibility to change that.

We need to TEACH students how to recognize bad science, fake science, and biased science.  We need to give them practice recognizing bad science on social media.  We need to give them opportunities to discuss the nuanced spectrum of bias in science.  I'm retired now, but I feel a personal responsibility to help teachers who are still in the classroom to make a difference.  I've created a free resource How To Spot Bad Science Online and on Social Media to help any teacher who wants to be part of creating a generation of American citizens who recognize and dismiss bad science in their daily lives. Please download and use it.  Make change happen.


I'm joining with many other TpT teachers to offer resources for making positive social change, and for creating a kinder and more informed citizenry. Join us please.  Download the "forever free" resources you can find on Teachers Pay Teachers, using the hashtags #kindnessnation and #weholdthesetruths in your search.

And I'm happy to also join in with a Secondary Smorgasbord Blog Hop Jan. 20 - 23rd
Hosted by:  http://www.elabuffet.com &  http://desktoplearningadventures.blogspot.com

Links to other fabulous resources will rotate below

13 comments:

  1. Your post made me laugh and cry a little at the same time, because it's so true that people believe absurd claims for lack of critical thinking skills. Thanks so much for the "hard truths" post and the helpful freebie.

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    1. Thank you! (I think.) :) I am sad that this state of affairs exists. But I'm glad to know that you found this resource to be helpful in combating the problem.

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  2. Oh, you have no idea how much I love this activity! Thank you so much for sharing it with our fellow science teachers!

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    1. Thank you Amy! I felt compelled to create something that might help other teachers to combat the problem. Thanks for your support!

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  3. So many scary things happening in the science world right now that our students need to learn. Thank you for providing this very valuable tool!

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    1. I agree, Michele. And thank you for your kind words!

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  4. What a great and timely activity, Jill. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're so welcome! I appreciate your kind compliment.

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  5. This is such an important lesson. We all need to educate our students on sifting the wheat from the chaff in science and other areas, too. Full STEAM ahead. :) Thank you so much for offering this resource!

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  6. I feel like you were reading my mind as I have been scrolling through my newsfeed the past few months. I love that you have created a resource that can help combat this serious issue. Thank you for sharing it, Jill!

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  7. I love how you've incorporated reading, writing, and discussion into your science instruction! This will be a great activity for interdisciplinary teaching. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. I appreciate you bringing to light the idea that not all news is "real". Kids think if they saw it on their favorite social media, it must be true! Thanks for great freebie!

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  9. Amen, sister!! This is my first time teaching Science this year, but for a decade or so, I've been trying to include a healthy dose of critical thinking in all of my teaching! We definitely need to keep it up!

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