Authority

With common core, our students are going to be expected to evaluate information in terms of

  • Authority
  • Bias
  • Coverage
  • Date

Although there are ‘worksheets’ for students to use to evaluate a source, this will be more effective if they can learn to ask themselves these questions as they encounter information:

  • Who wrote (produced) this? What is their expertise on the subject?
  • What is the author/producer’s point of view? Are they trying to persuade me?
  • Does this source tell the whole story or do I need to look for ‘missing pieces’?
  • Is the source out of date?
  • Was this written/produced by someone who was a witness to the event OR was it written/produced by someone passing on information from some other source?

I recently was asking myself some of these questions as I was watching a YouTube video regarding health care. Since this video was shared by a trustworthy friend on Facebook, I took the time to watch it. However, as I was watching, I kept asking myself whether the information in the video (and there is a lot) was accurate since I knew the author of the video was NOT an expert in the field!

Help your students become critical thinkers by helping them to ask these questions of information they encounter every day.

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