25 September 2018

Insight five: a snapshot of media literacy in Australian schools

This report explores the challenge of teaching young people to separate fact from fiction in an age of online news manipulation and provides a detailed overview of recent research into news consumption trends in Australia and abroad, as well as the proliferation of misinformation in the digital realm. The research found that while the majority of teachers surveyed (77%) felt equipped to guide students on whether news stories were true and can be trusted,  nearly a quarter of the teachers (23%) did not feel confident of their ability to teach these skills. Also while teachers viewed critical thinking about media as important about a quarter (24%) said they rarely explore critical engagement with news stories in the classroom. Teachers had low levels of trust in social media, while students were more likely to rely on social media for news.  The authors noted that constraints on teacher knowledge, time and resources are likely to be influential factors limiting the teaching of media literacy in schools.