Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


How Social Studies Teachers Choose News Resources for Current Events Instruction


Christopher H. Clark (

Mardi Schmeichel (

H.James (Jim) Garrett (

Date of this Version

Spring 4-22-2021


Clark, C., Schmeichel, M., & Garrett, H.J. (2021). How social studies teachers choose news resources for current events instruction. Harvard Educational Review, 91(1), 5-37.


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Integrating current events and news media in the curriculum is essential to social studies teachers’ efforts to promote critical citizenship skills. In this mixed-methods study, Christopher H. Clark, Mardi Schmeichel, and H. James Garrett draw from a survey of more than one thousand social studies teachers to examine factors that influence the frequency of teachers’ current events instruction and their choices of news resources for use in their classes. They found that respondents’ ideologies influenced the number and type of sources they preferred and that teachers listed student-focused reasons like reading accessibility more than news-focused criteria like in-depth reporting as reasons for their choices. These findings have significant consequences for researchers and teacher educators who must find ways to help teachers discard assumptions that news sources are neutral or without perspective. The authors maintain that if teachers are to help students develop the ability to interpret news media within a complicated political and informational landscape, they must be better prepared to think critically about the news sources they incorporate into their lessons.