As we enter the long campaign season, we are bombarded from all sides with information—facts, figures, and opinions. Much is true, or a version of truth, yet false information spreads and sticks--often the damage is done before the truth is revealed. Candidates can be irreparably injured and our faith in “the system” can become jaded.
A great example are the emails forwarded from well-meaning friends and family with warnings about criminal activity, medicines, etc. They encourage you to pass along the information to your friends, too. Some of these are very believable, but I have finally started checking them out through www.snopes.com and find that many turn out to be urban legends or out-and-out false.
Among many important lessons to include during campaign season this upcoming fall, one that may be most valuable long-term is helping children learn how to filter and sort through that information to determine what is fact and what is not. This is an important lesson to learn and apply in general to what is reported as news as well as advertising (miracle diet pills come to mind).
Wonder 571: Should You Believe Everything You Hear? can be used as a great way to start this discussion. I’m eager to hear ideas for ways to build children’s skills for being critical consumers. Any great ideas? Any resources that are helpful for sorting out the truth?