Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Researching 'Argo' for Bias and Accuracy - Section 2: How to Research Bias


The last unit the students completed before this one was writing a persuasive argument on a topic of their choice.  I spent time with the students on the importance of identifying logical fallacies like bias and then addressing or eliminating these fallacies from their papers. Now we're following that unit with a look at how bias can influence the way history is presented and students can get a sense of how bias can undermine their knowledge of an event. 

Using a movie is a powerful way to talk to students about bias because it is multidimensional; there are actors, writers, directors and producers who all contribute to their vision of events. They are aware of the form they are working in and they are aware of their audience, and yes, they are probably aware of their bias as well. Asking students to delve into those bias an look at why they are there can be a powerful tool for self-reflection. 

In some ways I wish I had taught this unit before the unit on persuasive essays because I think it helped students become more aware of the bias around them.  Had they gone on to write papers I think they would have been better at seeing the bias in their classmates papers and possibly in their own. 

  Research and Bias
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Research and Bias
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Researching 'Argo' for Bias and Accuracy

Unit 4: Bias and Accuracy in Historical Movies: Argo
Lesson 4 of 5

Objective: SWBAT use research tools to identify the historical discrepancies in a film

Big Idea: How does a movie reveal bias about its subject?

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