You have to really want to know! What do you want to know? There’s a flood of information on any subject, and it can be overwhelming.
It’s easy to just dis-engage, or not even try unless you are willing to spend a lot of time “drilling down” through the piles of data to really understand something.
An education is not about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) or even STEM-A (Arts). More now than ever, everyone needs to understand how to figure out whether or not what they are seeing is valid or if it only tells part of the story, and not the whole truth. There are all kinds of signals in bad data and erroneous conclusions. Critical thinking teaches us to recognize those signals. Education is actually about critical thinking; learning how to recognize signals and practicing. It isn’t easy. It’s not for the lazy. But, it is for anyone who actually wants the truth, and won’t be satisfied until finding it or at least realizing that the truth isn’t even buried in all that data.
If you really want to wade through the data world to figure out whether or not what you’re hearing and reading are accurate, it takes practiced critical thinking skills, time, and willingness. That’s why a good foundation in our schools is more important than ever, for everyone. Good democracy is about good citizenship, and citizens need critical thinking skills to know when they are likely being fed propaganda (often a partial fact, but not a full “truth”) vs. the truth. Otherwise, citizens will, and have throughout history, believe the propaganda they see and hear as they wade through the information flood.