Climbing the Pyramidby: James Planey and Barbara Hug

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The Source-Quality Pyramid activity described in this article is a student-driven activity that promotes classroom discussion of science literacy and media awareness. It also helps address any student misconceptions about what makes a news source credible.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:13 AM

As a pre-service teacher, I often ask myself what are the most important lessons that I want to teach students someday. Being able to distinguish a reliable source from one that is not a reliable source is definitely a lesson that I already consider to be vastly important. This article outlined a simple lesson to address this issue and I thought that it also gave a great opportunity to introduce other important topics. I did not have a chance to review the supplemental material, but I think that someday I may use this lesson in my own teaching.

Scott Ethe-Sayers
Scott Ethe-Sayers

  • on Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:13 PM

One of the most important things we can do for our students is to help them develop a sense of quality in the information they absorb each day, especially as more content is delivered by sound-bites, text messages, and social media. This article presents an activity that has students evaluate articles and their sources according to a matrix of assessment values, including author, writing style, sources, and fairness. I could see adding or modifying criteria that might include objectivity, whether data is presented in the article, and additional criteria. Much like the acquisition of goods and services, acquisition of information should be subject to evaluation. The activity is very student-centered and interactive, with students evaluating articles that they have obtained from various sources. Sources are evaluated and placed in a pyramid developed as a result of the evaluation of the articles. The approach could be used in many different settings as well, not just the environmental science context of the article.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)

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