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Avoiding the Rabbit Hole: Teaching Concepts in Conspiratorial Thinking
Thursday, September 2, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
Presented by Shaelynn Farnsworth, Director of Educator Network Expansion, The News Literacy Project; and John Silva, Senior Director of Professional Learning, The News Literacy Project
Sponsored by News Literacy Project
Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation. Get a CE Certificate for this edWebinar Learn more.
Conspiracy theories are becoming part of mainstream discourse and public awareness. From QAnon to pandemic-related beliefs to older ideas such as the Earth is flat, we are finding that more and more of our friends, family and loved ones believe at least one conspiracy theory. How do we teach students to avoid conspiracy theories without actually teaching them the specifics of such false beliefs?
This recorded 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. Hear the ways in which conspiracy theories exploit our emotions as well as fill our emotional needs. As part of the presentation, outline essential learning objectives and concepts and provide instructional resources for integrating these concepts into the curriculum, including our free, 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, high school, and higher education levels.
About 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 Silva is the News Literacy Project’s Senior Director of Professional Learning. 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.
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The News Literacy Project is a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, providing 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.