Propaganda: “Mind over Media in Europe”
Students and teachers in every country in Europe and all around the world get exposure to many forms of increasingly sophisticated and potentially beneficial and harmful propaganda through their mobiles, tablets and laptops and in public spaces in their neighborhoods and communities. They make wise and well-informed decisions in choosing which propaganda to share with their social networks. In formal and informal contexts, they benefit from opportunities to engage deeply in conversations about contemporary social, political and cultural issues and topics, analyzing the special features of new forms of propaganda, including memes, viral media, and content marketing that we now experience through online social networks. People access meaningful critique of propaganda through mass media, including on television and in newspapers and magazines. Educators at all levels include the study of contemporary propaganda in the language, social studies and science curriculum because they understand the importance of preparing students for 21st century citizenship, building competencies and life skills that prepare students to be fully engaged in robust dialogue and deliberation of controversial issues of public concern.
High levels of public apathy and disengagement are combining with growing political polarization in ways that challenge the future of democracy in Europe and around the world. Concerns about terrorism, migration/immigration, Islamophobia, radicalization, and populist and extremist forms of nationalism grow larger with each passing month. Educators want to address these concerns but need ideas, lesson plans and digital education resources and tools that help them support the development of learners’ critical thinking skills in ways that promote tolerance, increase intellectual curiosity, and build appreciation of diverse perspectives and interpretations. Our new project will provide them these resources, as well as professional knowledge and support in introducing propaganda teaching in their teaching communities. We will use Mind Over Media project and tool by Renee Hobbs as a starting point for our international educational activities.
More info on the project soon.