Civics teachers agree: Students need training in gathering and distributing news

Journalism education: It's not just for journalists, anymore.

That could've been the headline on a newly released study from our friends at Tufts University, whose research continues cementing the connection between healthy news-consumption habits and participatory citizenship.

In a report just posted by Tufts' Civic Youth project, researcher Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg finds almost unanimous agreement among high school civics educators that, to be well-prepared for adult life, students need the ability to gather and produce credible information -- the skill set we're accustomed to calling "journalism."

Encouragingly, the vast majority of survey respondents said they commonly assign reading news articles as part of civics curriculum. Study after study has documented that actively discussing current events is the most effective way of getting young people to retain and internalize civic learning.

The findings in the report, "Information Literacy in High School Civics," are based on survey responses from 720 civics and American government teachers from around the country. The research was primarily funded by the McCormick Foundation, an SPLC benefactor, and it simply adds to the growing consensus that the foundational skills taught in journalism education -- how to analyze information with a critical eye, and explain it to a wider audience -- are skills that no American should graduate from high school without.

Tagged: CIRCLE, civic education, Civic Engagement, Civic Youth, news literacy, Tufts University