The “Araling Panlipunan” inadequate reason that the public is vulnerable to misinformation – study

FEU study finds ‘Araling Panlipunan’ failed to impart critical thinking, an essential skill for navigating cyberspace increasingly polluted with misinformation

MANILA, Philippines – A study conducted by the Center for Public Policy at Far Eastern University (FEU) has revealed that there is a need for critical thinking given the vast amounts of information we encounter on a daily basis. day. The same study also revealed that the current Araling Panlipounan the program was to focus more on developing critical thinking in students and less on rote memorization.

Justin Muyot, author of “Discerning Truths and Democratizing the Internet” and technical consultant to FEU, said that due to the ease of creating and publishing content on the Internet, there has been a massive increase in data available. to the public.

This period of misinformation has seen the rise of user-generated content, some of which are sorely lacking in the data needed to back up their claims, or use data but draw the wrong conclusions.

It is in this situation, where viewers are both consumers and producers of content, that critical thinking becomes all the more necessary.

The shortcomings of our education system

The research indicated that the subject Araling Panlipounan depended heavily on rote memorization. This is the situation even though the Department of Education has deemed inquiry, research, communication, and adherence to ethical standards as essential to achieving the subject’s goals.

The same team of researchers, led by University of the Philippines Emeritus Professor Dr. Maris Diokno, also found that the curriculum lacked in breadth and depth of information about the period of martial law. of the country under the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

They discovered that the textbooks of Araling Panlipounan for Years 5 and 6 did not cover enough events over the 21-year historical period and included incomplete or false commentary due to the lack of supporting economic data.

keep your head above water

The researchers said that right now it seemed the public was drowning in the information they had access to and were bombarded with. And yet the quality of the content we encounter is not at all the same.

Muyot said YouTube videos act as an alternative source of information. He found that some of these videos use historical information but draw incorrect or exaggerated conclusions.

A video talking about the assets acquired under the administration of Ferdinand Marcos claimed that the country’s military power was superior to that of other countries in the region. The video, however, did not provide data on the other countries’ military capability – the bare minimum of data needed to back up the claim.

In another example, Muyot said a video about the 1970s missile development project couldn’t even get the project name right. In the video, the Santa Barbara Project was incorrectly referred to as the Santa Clara Project.

Given the poor quality of information Internet users may encounter, Muyot says critical thinking is crucial to being able to sift through the vast amounts of information we receive.

Also, due to the more open and less regulated nature of the Internet as opposed to traditional media and textbooks as sources of information, viewers are more compelled to evaluate the information they receive.

You can read Justin Muyot’s study here on Rappler. –

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