In part one I wrote that there needs to be a few additions to what we teach our children. I said this is the third thing I would add to that list: - Ability to see the difference between fact and fiction. I think that fiction is an important component in life. How else could I as a young man gone around the earth in 80 days. My son's generation killed the Death Star and traveled to the galaxies. Then there are the simple facts that are the basis of life. Kinda like the difference between the ten commandments (Things we ought to do) and laws that require us to do them properly.
Here is why I think this is important: Daily we are inundated by data and it is hard to tell where fact and fiction are on that continuum. A lot of what is written about celebrities is just fiction written to get the Star's name in the headlines. What trends do we want to start and what do we follow? If I write something in more words or in a more aggressive style, does that add to the truth? It is pretty easy for an adult to understand that the source of information is generally a pretty good way to sort truth from fiction but like pictures now that we have Photoshop, seeing isn't always believing. Just because something is written, It may or may not be true. Read the editorials and see what one man's opinion can do if given a large type and a higher location on the page.
I would encourage all teachers to have the kids write at first just to get the juices flowing but somewhere there needs to be a lesson on just copying and believing what you write vs fiction. I really believe that there needs to be a "War of the Worlds" every once in a while to shake things up. But there needs to be a ground truth in what we believe. I would rather have our students learn the truth and have limited knowledge than have them know everything and little of it to be correct.