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Avoiding the Rabbit Hole: How to Recognize and Understand Conspiratorial Thinking

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Avoiding the Rabbit Hole: How to Recognize and Understand Conspiratorial Thinking

Presented by Shaelynn Farnsworth, National Director of Educator Outreach and Success, The News Literacy Project; and John Silva, Senior Director of Education and Training, The News Literacy Project

Sponsored by News Literacy Project

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.
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Conspiracy theories are rampant on social media, particularly related to hyperpartisan political beliefs as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. More importantly, though, the thought processes, cognitive dissonance and biases that lead to beliefs in conspiracy theories are even more common. Most of us engage in some form of conspiratorial thinking regularly, yet somehow don’t fall victim to belief in one or more conspiracy theories. What’s different about people who do?

This edWebinar explores the psychological and cognitive factors behind conspiratorial thinking, including the role of fears and anxiety, cognitive dissonance and biases, motivated reasoning and institutional cynicism. The presenters discuss the ways conspiracy theories exploit emotions as well as how they fill emotional needs. As part of this session, the presenters also provide instructional resources for integrating these concepts into your curriculum, including our new, interactive lesson which is part of the Checkology virtual classroom.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders of the middle school through higher education levels.

Shaelynn FarnsworthAbout the Presenters

Shaelynn Farnsworth is the News Literacy Project’s National Director of Educator Outreach and Success. Shaelynn has over 20 years of experience in education. She spent the first part of her career as a high school English teacher in Conrad, Iowa, where she reimagined teaching and learning in her classroom and became a leader in the convergence between literacy and technology. Shaelynn focused on developing student skills in information consumption, creating innovative ways for students to demonstrate understanding, and inspiring healthy skepticism in the digital age. She was recruited by a regional state education agency in Iowa, where she was a school improvement consultant for seven years. Shaelynn supported districts throughout Iowa in the areas of literacy, technology, AIW, and systemic change. She was a member of the state’s literacy, social studies, and technology leadership teams.

 

John SilvaJohn Silva is the News Literacy Project’s Senior Director of Education and Training. He joined NLP in March 2017 with 13 years of experience as a middle and high social studies teacher with Chicago Public Schools. He first became involved with news literacy in 2014 when his students engaged in NLP’s original classroom program. A United States Marine Corps veteran, John spent several years in corporate telecommunications positions before becoming a teacher. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in the teaching of history and has a master’s degree in education, with a concentration in e-learning, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2012.

 

Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

Join the News Literacy community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


News Literacy Project

The News Literacy Project is a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.


 

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