How Bringing News into the Classroom Empowers Students
News is everywhere. It's always happening, and it's being shared 24/7 around the world. Whether we want to know it or not, the issues being reported in newspapers, magazines and other mediums impact all of us in some way. Encouraging young adults to consume news in the classroom and at home is something to strive for.
Newspapers are a strong motivator for students to learn and connect with many important issues facing the globe. Students can read articles to discuss topics such as the economy, politics, business or even entertainment. Newspaper articles can also provide ideas for assisting students in their learning process in the classroom.
Background on Encouraging Media Use in School and at Home
A 2013 study conducted by Timothy Vercellotti and Elizabeth Matto, The Role of Media Use in the Classroom and at Home in Improving Political Knowledge
, includes a finding from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) which stated only 24% of high school seniors scored proficient in civics.
After an experiment was conducted with 361 high school students in four New Jersey schools and the parents of 152 of these students, it was found that after introducing news magazines in social studies assignments and then asking the students to read and discuss news articles in the classroom and at home for eight weeks, the level of political knowledge of those students who weren't taking honors or advanced courses improved dramatically.
Incorporating news articles into classroom discussions and assignments helps students become more civic-minded and politically aware. This in turn creates students who are ready to participate in political processes because they have the knowledge to make informed opinions and choices.
The Benefits of a School Newspaper
Another positive example of incorporating news in the classroom is student journalism. Because school newspapers simulate a work environment, students get the benefit of making a difference while also experiencing what it means to be a "professional."
School newspapers expose injustices, hold authority figures accountable and promote change. They give students the opportunity to be leaders and more importantly a voice. Writing for the school newspaper builds analytical thinking skills, gets students familiar with deadlines and promotes teamwork. It also introduces students to fact-checking, interviewing sources and learning how to correct errors.
Student journalism puts students in charge when it comes to tough issues. What is more empowering than allowing students to communicate about the issues that affect them directly and giving them a platform to do so?
Why Talking About Politics and Civics Literacy is Important
Civic literacy is an important educational goal. It's learning how to actively participate in the community and cultivate change. By increasing civic engagement in the classroom, students will stay familiar with the news and improve their attitude toward political issues. Reading and discussing political events gives students opportunities to sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills.
Reading daily news articles will help students understand a wide range of political views. Since newspapers are more current than textbooks, they will gain knowledge about the current political climate. In the classroom, students can participate in mock debates, research various social policies and even run for school council elections. And there are ways students can get involved outside of the classroom. Students can volunteer or organize rallies, peruse an issue they care deeply about
or even attend a town hall meeting in their community.
How ProQuest Can Help
ProQuest offers students and teachers a wide range of digital news collections that allow them to search centuries of content all on one easy-to-use platform.
– ProQuest Historical Newspapers is a digital newspaper archive of the most influential and historically respected newspapers in the world dating back to the 18th Century. The full Historical Newspapers collection offers over 55 million digitized pages! Students can browse every page of every paper in full-image, full-text PDF format – including articles, photos, advertisements, obituaries, editorial cartoons and so much more. Every issue of each title includes the complete paper-cover-to-cover, with full-page and article images in easily downloadable PDF format.
– Recent Newspapers is a new digital archive of recent editions of the most essential and requested newspapers, now including more than 50 titles with some titles packaged as part of U.S. Regional Collections.
Students can browse and search image-based recent newspaper editions with coverage beginning between 2008 and 2011, up to recent date (with 3-month embargoes). Recent Newspapers feature searchable, high-resolution,
grayscale PDF images of every page, including full-text news articles, photos, ads and more with keyword highlighting.
– A comprehensive collection of the leading international, U.S. national, and regional news sources, Global Newsstream features the most recent global news content with backfiles to the 1980s. Global Newsstream full collection includes full-text article content from more than 2,800 news sources – newspapers, digital-first content, newswires, video, transcripts and more, for up-to-the-minute coverage of important events. Titles are cross searchable with all other essential content on the ProQuest platform. Global Newsstream provides unparalleled access to one of the largest collections of news from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Australia.
Want to build or expand the collection of digital news at your library? Free trials are available!
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