In the Era of Truth Decay
Public schools that serve K–12 students can play a key role in combatting Truth Decay by supporting students' civic learning and engagement. As part of RAND’s Countering Truth Decay initiative, RAND administered a survey to a nationally representative sample of K-12 teachers who teach social studies, using the RAND American Educator Panels. This series of AEP Data Notes explores the civic education practices, beliefs, and experiences of social studies teachers across the U.S.
A future report will share additional findings, including more comprehensive findings on teachers’ civic education practices in the classroom and the factors that might be connected to the topics and instructional approaches they use.
U.S. social studies teachers do not have a great deal of trust in many public institutions, such as news outlets and the government. This might have implications for how much they draw on or reference such institutions in their instruction.
High school social studies teachers play an important role in fostering the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students need to thrive after graduation. How have these teachers' perspectives on student civic development changed from 2010 to 2019?
Teachers' instructional materials provide a window into civic education in schools. Where are public-school social studies teachers getting most of their instructional materials? And how are they using these materials to teach civics?
Schools can play a key role in fighting Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts in U.S. public life—by teaching media literacy to students. How much emphasis do teachers and schools put on this subject?
Can media literacy education help counter the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life? To find out, RAND experts analyzed what we know—and don't know—about the subject.