Sarah McGrew is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. She studies educational responses to the spread of online mis- and disinformation. Her research focuses on young people’s civic online reasoning—how they search for and evaluate online information on contentious social and political topics—and how schools can better support students to learn effective evaluation strategies.
In collaboration with the Stanford History Education Group, Dr. McGrew developed assessments of students’ online reasoning, conducted research on fact checkers’ strategies for evaluating digital content, and tested curriculum designed to teach these strategies to secondary and college students. This research has been published in journals including Computers & Education, British Journal of Educational Psychology, Teachers College Record, and Theory and Research in Social Education. It also received coverage in outlets including the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Time, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. In addition to investigating online reasoning curricula in secondary and college classrooms, Dr. McGrew’s current research focuses on two related questions: how best to support teachers to learn online reasoning themselves and design lessons for students, and how to design lessons in online reasoning that are rooted in civic and community issues that students know and care about.
A former high school history teacher, Dr. McGrew is also interested in history/social studies teaching and learning. She studies connections between disciplinary and digital literacies in history classes and practice-based approaches to history/social studies teacher education.
Dr. McGrew earned a B.A. in Political Science and Education from Swarthmore College and an M.A. and teacher certification in the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She taught high school history in Washington, D.C. for five years before returning to Stanford to complete her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teacher Education.
Refereed Journal Articles:
McGrew, S. (2019). Learning to evaluate: An intervention in civic online reasoning. Computers and Education. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103711
McGrew, S., Smith, M., Breakstone, J., Ortega, T., & Wineburg, S. (2019). Improvement in university students’ web savvy: An intervention study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 485-500. doi:10.1111/bjep.12279
Wineburg, S., & McGrew, S. (2019). Lateral reading and the nature of expertise: Reading less and learning more when evaluating digital information. Teachers College Record, 121(11).
McGrew, S., Breakstone, J., Ortega, T., Smith, M., & Wineburg, S. (2018). Can students evaluate online sources? Learning from assessments of civic online reasoning. Theory & Research in Social Education, 46, 165-193. doi:10.1080/00933104.2017.1416320
Reisman, A., Kavanagh, S., Monte-Sano, C., Fogo, B., McGrew, S., Cipparone, P., & Simmons, E. (2018). Facilitating whole-class discussions in history: A framework for preparing teacher candidates. Journal of Teacher Education, 69, 278-293. doi:10.1177/0022487117707463
Select Professional and Popular Publications:
Breakstone, J., McGrew, S., Smith, M., Ortega, T., & Wineburg, S. (2018). Why we need a new approach to teaching digital literacy. Phi Delta Kappan, 99(6), 27-32. http://www.kappanonline.org/breakstone-need-new-approach-teaching-digita...
McGrew, S., Ortega, T., Breakstone, J., & Wineburg, S. (2017). The problem that’s bigger than fake news: Civic reasoning in a social media environment. American Educator, 41(3), 4- 9, 39. https://www.aft.org/ae/fall2017/mcgrew_ortega_breakstone_wineburg
Wineburg, S., & McGrew, S. (2016). Why students can’t Google their way to the truth. Education Week, 36(11), 22. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/11/02/why-students-cant-google-t...