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Teaching Millennials to Engage THE Environment instead of THEIR Environment: A Pedagogical Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  aforementioned 2009 Pew report found that nearly half (48 percent) of American scientists thought news media oversimplified scientific findings. 17 Part of the problem of inaccurate and over-simplified coverage involved education and training. Few journalists covering science topics possess scientific expertise, 18 primarily because only three percent of journalists with college degrees major in mathematics or science areas, while most major in communication fields. 19 Unfortunately, the challenges facing the youngest generation of burgeoning journalists are even greater than those faced by current and past journalists. Observed generational traits in the Millennial Generation indicate critical differences in learning style and the perceived relationship between individuals, groups, and society. The cultural values unique to the Millennials suggest that learning how to cover beats like science and the environment will be particularly challenging for the contemporary students of journalism. Teaching Millennials The Millennial generation consists of those born after 1980 and graduating high school following the year 2000. 20 This group represents 30 percent of the American population and is the most diverse American generation with 34 percent of their ranks classified as minorities. 21 Much has been written about the Millennials, with many observations about their differences from previous American generations, particularly in regards to their consumer behavior and learning preferences. 22 Raines describes the typical generational characteristics of Millennials as sociable, optimistic, talented, well-educated, 4

Authors: Stevens, Rick. and Crow, Deserai.
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aforementioned 2009 Pew report found that nearly half (48 percent) of American 
scientists thought news media oversimplified scientific findings.
Part of the problem of inaccurate and over-simplified coverage involved 
education and training. Few journalists covering science topics possess scientific 
expertise,
 primarily because only three percent of journalists with college degrees major 
in mathematics or science areas, while most major in communication fields.
Unfortunately, the challenges facing the youngest generation of burgeoning 
journalists are even greater than those faced by current and past journalists. Observed 
generational traits in the Millennial Generation indicate critical differences in learning 
style and the perceived relationship between individuals, groups, and society.  The 
cultural values unique to the Millennials suggest that learning how to cover beats like 
science and the environment will be particularly challenging for the contemporary 
students of journalism.
Teaching Millennials 
The Millennial generation consists of those born after 1980 and graduating high 
school following the year 2000.
 This group represents 30 percent of the American 
population and is the most diverse American generation with 34 percent of their ranks 
classified as minorities.
Much has been written about the Millennials, with many observations about their 
differences from previous American generations, particularly in regards to their consumer 
behavior and learning preferences.
 Raines describes the typical generational 
characteristics of Millennials as sociable, optimistic, talented, well-educated, 
4


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