From Fake News to Racism: A Study of Change in a Reading Intervention Class




Delaney, Carol
Bacon, Heidi
Matson, Sandra

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John Wiley & Sons


This qualitative study investigated how teaching an historical unit through a critical lens might empower students to evaluate sources, challenge fake news, and make informed decisions. The reading intervention teacher in this study engaged secondary students in reading, discussing, and critiquing a series of multimodal historical texts. Grounded in a critical literacies framework, Shelly used “brave spaces” to stimulate discussion on issues of (in)equality, bias, and misinformation to challenge students’ perceptions and often (mis)conceptions of what constitutes propaganda and “fake news.” We describe how Shelly’s 6-week unit facilitated higher order thinking and students’ beliefs in their capacity to take action and make a difference. We elaborate the need for students to. be savvy, critical consumers of media, particularly in today’s sociopolitical climate where truth and alternative facts are frequently blurred.



racism, fake news, reading intervention, education, sociopolitical climate, propaganda, Curriclum and Instruction


Delaney, C. J., Bacon, H. R., & Matson, S. F. (2022). From fake news to racism: A study of change in a reading intervention class. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 65(5), pp. 419-429.


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