Pedagogy in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era: April 18th Session

How can educators teach students to evaluate news in a post-truth era??

Oxford Dictionaries defines post-truth as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,” which has been named the word of the year. According to a segment “Fake News” by 60 Minutes, the term fake news can be defined as “stories that are deliberately fabricated and proven false…they are lies.” However, terms like ‘true’ and ‘false’ appear to be arbitrary in that people do not agree on one definition for the terms. What one believes to be true may be perceived as false by another, and so begins the search for the truth. Fraudulent computer software is programmed with fake social media accounts to automatically ‘like’ and ‘share’ posts, which present the impression that millions have viewed and or shared the post. Once posts appear to be viewed by millions, actual people with real accounts begin to read and share those posts, producing mass distortions of the truth. 

A recent study conducted by Stanford University explored students’ abilities to determine the credibility of electronic information. 7,804 students across 12 states were administered various tasks to access their ability to analyze for credibility of the information. Sue Shellenbarger writes about the results in her article, “Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds.” Nearly 82% of middle school students were unable to identify the difference between a real news source and a “sponsored content” story, 2/3 “couldn’t see any valid reason to mistrust a post written by a bank executive arguing that young adults need more financial-planning help,” and 4/10 believed a photo solely based on the headline of the post. The article also mentions that “by age 18, 88% of young adults regularly get news from Facebook and other social media, according to a 2015 study of 1,045 adults ages 18 to 34 by the Media Insight Project.” Students excessive use of media and lack of knowledge regarding credible sources of information create the need for education on the issues. 

In the article, “Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News,” Katherine Schulten and Amanda Brown discuss ways of introducing the concept of fake news to students. The article discusses ways of which to increase student awareness of the various ways in which new is fabricated and how to distinguish fake from real news. Within the article, the authors provide links to various resources to help demonstrate the influence of fake news. Upon sharing an image (the same one used in the study by Stanford) to promote initial thought, the following questions can be used as discussion prompts:

  • What does the phrase “fake news” mean?
  • When have you or someone you know fallen for or shared fake or inaccurate news of some kind?
  • Why does it matter if we can’t tell real news from fake news?

Please join us for our upcoming April 18th session on “Pedagogy in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era.” Provisions’ sessions are held from 12:00-1:15 in Standish A&B. All are welcome and no reservations are required. Free lunch and refreshments will be available! Hope to see you all there!🙂


September 20th Provisions Session Summary: “How To Incorporate Mission Into Our Pedagogy”


** To access the audio recording of this session, click here! **

Our first Provisions session of the 2016-2017 year explored the theme of “How We Incorporate Mission into Our Pedagogy. Presenters shared experience and expertise with the various topics pertaining to the theme, in which sought to improve success for a diverse range of college students. An audience of approximately 25 faculty and staff members attended to hear presentations from Sean Peters, Director of Mission Experience, Angela Gordon, School of Business, and Jeff Marlett, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Sister Sean Peters, the Director of Mission Experience, kicked started the session by discussing a brief history about the College of Saint Rose. Sister Sean discussed how the college is essentially an organization that is about 360 years old, which began when it was founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet. In 1650, the 6 sisters gathered in France and started a hospital (social services in those days). During this time, there were some wealthy people but the majority of people lived in poverty, experiencing illnesses like the plague. The sisters were concerned with the “needs of the times” and convened to discuss the resources they had and what they could do to respond to the needs of the community. During this time, lace was worn by all (men, women and children) so the sisters decided to teach young women how to make lace, thus making enemies of the wealthy. Following the French Revolution, religion was suppressed and the sisters were split up. In 1810, Mother Saint John sent the sisters to the United States, where they started a school for deaf children in Carondelet, Saint Louis. Sister Sean ended her presentation by reiterating  the theme that “we can do better together than we can do separately” which encompasses the values of the college of Saint Rose. “We have the resources to respond to the needs of the time, to educate the whole person, and we can always to things more effectively and efficiently together.”

Nest to present was Angela Gordon from the School of Business, on “Incorporating Mission into the First Year Experience.” Angela began by discussing the first assignment in the  ‘Business 101’ course, which requires the students to connect with the values of Saint Rose’s mission statement in a one-page essay. Angela then discussed a semester long assignment  in which students construct their own business plans using organizational awareness.  As part of the course, the students are taken on a field trip to downtown Albany (Pearl Street, State Street, Broadway), where they are instructed to “think of the population” and decide “what does this population need?” The students are then asked to create a developmental business plan that allows them to engage with urban environment. In doing this, the students will create a document proposing the set-up of a their businesses. The students will then be able to present their business ideas (on November 30th) to faculty and staff of the college, thus promoting involvement in and connection with the community.

Jeff Marlett, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, wrapped up the presentations by discussing his experiences with incorporating mission into teaching. Jeff discussed how he incorporates the values of the mission statement indirectly by teaching principles of catholic social justice-human dignity, common good, and solidarity (we are all part of the human family). Jeff emphasized the importance of solidarity and helping out others in need. In using the example of the flooding in Louisiana (“we are in solidarity with them”), Jeff described the overall principle of how local solutions work better first, and then larger services can be sought out when necessary. Jeff discussed how these principles then become the foundation for talking about the mission statement across disciplines. Jeff ended with emphasis on how it is important for educators and students to know the identity of Saint Rose, and why Saint Rose is different than other catholic campuses.

Following the brief presentations, the floor was opened up for discussion and questions from the audience. Here are a few points and observations that arose from the discussion:

  • The architecture that make a community are meaningless without understanding the core values
  • How to get students to consider how they fit at the college
    • Visit buildings to know what resources are available
  • Encourage students to understand the connection between mission/values and why they are attending Saint Rose
  • Research is important in deciding if you’re a good fit for a particular job/organization
  • How to foster an inclusive community

September 20th Session: “How We Incorporate Mission into Our Pedagogy”

“How We Incorporate Mission into Our Pedagogy”


“The College of Saint Rose community engages highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students in rigorous educational experiences. In the progressive tradition of the founding Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, we welcome men and women from all religious and cultural backgrounds. In addition to developing their intellectual capacities, students have the opportunity to cultivate their creative and spiritual gifts in a diverse learning community that fosters integrity, interdependence, and mutual respect. The College delivers distinctive and comprehensive liberal arts and professional programs that inspire our graduates to be productive adults, critical thinkers, and motivated, caring citizens. Our engagement with the urban environment expands the setting for educational opportunities and encourages the Saint Rose community’s energetic involvement and effective leadership in society.”

-The College of Saint Rose

The question remains… how do we incorporate mission into our pedagogy?

The article, “Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education,” explains various methods for creating a supportive learning environment for a diverse range of students. The article provides specific beliefs that contribute to creating  a supportive context for diverse students within the classroom. To create a supportive leaning environment, educators must be prepared to:

  1. Respect students of all races, cultures, and ethnicities, while continuing to  respect their own cultural beliefs and practices
  2. Find ways to incorporate each students’ “funds of knowledge”, otherwise known as student knowledge learned from their communities that can be connected to course content
  3. Learn about their students through formative assessment in order to modify their instruction to best fit all students within the classroom
  4. Empower students to learn through encouragement, opportunities for engagement in the curriculum, and providing meaningful activities
  5. Model ways of examining one’s own learning using self-regulatory skills, such as self-evaluation and self-monitoring
  6. Allow students to maintain their own languages while teaching various aspects of the English language
  7.  Advocate for equality and social justice for all students

InHow to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher,” David Cutler describes several methods for improving teaching and student-teacher relationships through professional development. To remain an effective and transformational teacher, David suggests to:

  • Share effective practices with colleagues
  • Choose a successful colleague as a mentor
  • Observe fellow teachers’ instructional strategies
  • Find new routines to avoid burnout
  • Model the practicality and usefulness of what you are teaching
  • Demonstrate care for your students beyond the classroom

Please join us for our upcoming Tuesday, September 20th session on “ How We Incorporate Mission into Our Pedagogy.” Our esteemed presenters for the September 20th session include:

Angela Gordon-School of Business
Jeff Marlett-Philosophy and Religious Studies
Sean Peters-Director of Mission Experience

Provisions’ sessions are held from 12:00-1:15 in Standish A&B. All are welcome and no reservations are required. Free lunch and refreshments will be available! Hope to see you all there!! 🙂

First Monday Article

First Monday, a peer reviewed journal online, introduced an article on October 5, 2009 called Insidious Pedagogy: How Course Management Systems Impact Teaching. The article explores Course Management Technologies (CMTs) and the impact online technologies have on teaching. While CMTs are used throughout colleges and universities as a way to present online courses, and post course related material, they tend to be underutilized due to Web-novice faculty. This article will take a closer look into CMTs, as well as an understanding of how novice use technology to discover how CMTs can influence and control instructional approaches. 

Insidious Pedagogy : How Course Management Systems Impact Teaching 

In The News

Below you will find articles from online resources pertaining to teaching

Inside Higher Ed:

The Uninsured Adjunct  With health care continuing to be debated nationally, many adjuncts are trying to draw attention to their status among the well-educated professionals who sometimes received little to no coverage. (Nov. 30, 2009)

Shift in Researcher Population  According to a new report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization the share of the worldwide research population in the United States has decreased from 23.2 to 20.3 percent between 2002 and 2007. This article explores the reasons for the decline. (Nov. 25, 2009)

Be a Tech-Aware Adjunct It is important, as an adjunct, to demonstrate proficiency in “new” technology because,”you are already two steps out the door with a long line of newly minted graduates waiting just outside.” This article explores ways in which new media can be integrated into the classroom, as well as whether or not technology is good pedagogy. (Nov. 18, 2009)

Boost for Liberal Arts Technology? With the help of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) Liberal Arts colleges will be brought up to speed on advanced networking. The NITLE announced a partnership with network provider Internet2 in hopes to allow liberal arts colleges to expand cirriculur offerings, attract top faculty, and provide remote access to digital collections. (Nov. 17,2009)

The New Literacy and the CMS The ability to write for a web audience is argued in this article as the new literacy. This article explores the ways in which new media and social learning are opportunties for students rather then obstacles. (Oct. 13, 2009)

E-Books and Colleges Will electronic and digiatal books replace printed books? This article explores ways to avoid repeating the “Napster” experience on campus’ with e-books. (Oct. 4,2009)

Define “College Ready’ Nationally The amount of students out of high school who are ill-prepared for college or the work force is not very disputed. This article focus’ on how to fix this problem. The idea of a nationally embraced code of standards for high school students, is currently being reviewed by college faculty with one goal in mind, allow students to get to the next step. (Sept. 21, 2009)

Can We Discuss This? The article navigates through what discussion groups should not be, as well as good practices of discussion groups. Suggestions provided in order to conduct an effective group include maximizing student involvement and creating a separate syllabus for discussion. (Sept. 9, 2009)

Managing The Admissions Challenge With 90% of colleges reporting an increase in financial aid applications this year, and 74% of colleges reporting an increase in number of students offered grant aid, this article offers strategies used by colleges in 2009 or planned for 2010. Such strategies include admitting more applicants, awarding larger grants, and offering grants to more students. (Sept. 25, 2009)

New York Times:

Students Protest Tuition Increases Protests continue on several campuses after the University of California Board of Regents announced a 32% increase in fees equivalent to tuition. (Nov. 20,2009)

Barred From Field, Religious Signs Move to Stands After a parent expressed concern over banners at a high school football game in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. which read, “Commit to the Lord,” a first amendment lawsuit may be underway. Due to the new policy, the article explores the unexpected results  that came from this incident. (Oct. 26,2009)

M.I.T Taking Student Blogs to Nth Degree Many colleges are beginning to embrace student blogs on their websites, seeing them as a marketing tool for high school students. This article talks about the pros and cons to publishing untouched student writing. (Oct. 1,2009)

The College Calculation “How much does a college education, the actual teaching and learning that happens on campus, really matter?” (Sept. 24, 2009)     

College Officials Brace for Hit from Economy This article explores the shift from “will my child get into college?” to ” can we afford to send my child to college?” (Sept. 25,2009)

Additional Websites & Blogs:

Academic Commons 

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education