This unit is all about learning well in today’s digital world and then sharing that knowledge with others—the most fundamental and joyous of intellectual experiences. Students will form study groups to research topics of contemporary, scientific, or historical significance. The first bend immerses readers into essential study habits that will serve them well throughout their research across the unit. Bend II focuses on developing ethical research practices and internet literacy skills as readers tackle the challenges of Internet research. Students will learn to check sources, discern “fake news,” and compensate for connotations and confirmation bias. As students gain expertise in their research topics, the third bend calls readers to study the disputes and arguments inside their topics, eventually coming to informed positions that they will present in a final project.
Throughout the unit readers will learn to:
- Build background knowledge independently through rapid reading of a variety of texts
- Take powerful research notes and reorganise, annotate, and synthesise these notes in order to deepen their knowledge and come to new thinking
- Become an effective study partner, comparing notes, questioning interpretations, and growing theories alongside each other
- Tackle the challenges of ethical Internet research by checking sources, discerning “fake news,” and compensating for confirmation bias
- Consolidate and share their research and ideas in a variety of media formats, including infographics, flash-debates, and TED-style talks
- The skills and study habits instilled in this unit help aim to increase equity in academic capital, giving more students access to even the most challenging academic classes, and setting the stage for students to be successful in high school and college.