Critical Analysis: Understanding the World through the News Media?
The world is a complex system undergoing constant change. It's an enormous challenge to try to understand the world through the torrent of information produced daily by media companies. In this class, we will use a critical approach to analyzing the news as our method of learning about the world. Students will learn about global issues, big ideas and new terminology. This class will cover the fields of economics, politics, society, technology and the environment.
We will look at a wide variety of media sources across the political spectrum and discuss ownership, ideology and reliability. In previous classes we looked at articles from the New York Times, BBC, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, the Economist, the Guardian and many other sources. We will read pieces that we agree with and disagree with and try to find whatever truth we can about what's going on in the world.
We will use critical thinking skills as we read and discuss news articles. That means asking questions of our sources of information, trying to make sense of abstract concepts through concrete explanations and looking at global issues to think about their local impact. History will be our guide to understanding the present and to think about the possibilities the present holds. We will look for connections between seemingly disparate events and try to think systemically about the issues we read about.
I will share two articles with students to read four days before each class. Also, each week students will take turns volunteering to find an article to share with the class for discussion. In class we will analyze the contents of the articles, ask questions and discuss our reactions.
*Sample article and questions
North Korea Asks for Direct Nuclear Talks, and Trump Agrees (link)