Young boy writing in a worksheet

NewsWise in Primary Education: News and Digital Literacy, and Civic Engagement

We live in an age in which online misinformation and public mistrust in institutions undermine democracy, which relies on a well-informed citizenry that is able to evaluate the validity of news and information. Such an ability requires lifelong skills and knowledge – referred to as news and digital literacy.

The NewsWise project evaluates the impact of NewsWise, a news and digital literacy programme, on UK primary school children’s news and digital literacy and civic engagement. The research will focus on children in areas with low literacy rates and schools with above average Free School Meal levels.

The Guardian Foundation, with support from the PSHE Association and National Literacy Trust, will deliver NewsWise to around 2,400 pupils aged 9-11 in 40 primary schools. It will use a randomised cluster-controlled trial, based on pre- and post-surveys completed by the children. 

Fake news and misinformation undermine democracy, which relies on a well-informed citizenry that is able to evaluate the validity of news and information. However, children often lack the ability to distinguish truth from fiction online, lacking the skills to critically evaluate a source. Furthermore, parents from lower socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds are less likely to engage with their children about news and lack confidence in their own ability to identify fake news.

NewsWise was created to provide the skills which allow children to autonomously and critically evaluate information found online. Bringing together experts in news and digital literacy, journalism, and Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education; the programme uses resources and activities to show how news is created and disseminated, as well as how to deconstruct and analyse it to spot bias and misinformation. 

Publications and reports

Using a socio-ecological framework to understand how 8-12-year-olds build and show digital resilience: A multi-perspective and multimethod qualitative study (Journal article)

Hammond, S. P., Polizzi, G., & Bartholomew, K. J. (2022). Using a socio-ecological framework to understand how 8-12-year-olds build and show digital resilience: A multi-perspective and multimethod qualitative study. EDUCATION AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES. doi:10.1007/s10639-022-11240-z

Connection Brokers: How educators work within and between social networks to cultivate community digital resilience to support children with disabilities using the Internet (Journal article)

Hammond, S. P., D'Arcy, J., & Polizzi, G. (2023). Connection Brokers: How educators work within and between social networks to cultivate community digital resilience to support children with disabilities using the Internet. NEW MEDIA & SOCIETY. doi:10.1177/14614448231157330

(In)civility and adolescents' moral decision making online: drawing on moral theory to advance digital citizenship education (Journal article)

Harrison, T., & Polizzi, G. (2022). (In)civility and adolescents' moral decision making online: drawing on moral theory to advance digital citizenship education. EDUCATION AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES, 27(3), 3277-3297. doi:10.1007/s10639-021-10710-0

Wisdom in the digital age: a conceptual and practical framework for understanding and cultivating cyber-wisdom (Journal article)

Polizzi, G., & Harrison, T. (2022). Wisdom in the digital age: a conceptual and practical framework for understanding and cultivating cyber-wisdom. ETHICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, 24(1). doi:10.1007/s10676-022-09640-3

 

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