EU launches toolkit to combat fake news in history education

The toolkit will be presented at the HISTOLAB European Innovation Days in History Education, showcasing innovative initiatives and practices in history education.

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The Council of Europe and the EU have collaborated to introduce a new educational tool to empower young people to assess content found online and in the media, discern historical inaccuracies, and engage in critical thinking about the material they come across. Dubbed the ‘Toolkit for History Classes: Debunking Fake News and Fostering Critical Thinking,’ this resource comprises 11 online activities designed to help students analyse various topics and events through historical sources and a multiperspective approach. Accompanying this toolkit is a free online training course for secondary school teachers, offering practical guidance on integrating the toolkit into classroom settings. Scheduled for release to the public in Autumn 2024, this initiative seeks to equip students with essential skills for navigating the digital landscape.

The unveiling of the toolkit will take place during the HISTOLAB European Innovation Days in History Education, scheduled from 3 to 5 April at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg. The conference, which is focused on history education, will bring together over 150 practitioners from across the EU and beyond to showcase and discuss innovative initiatives and practices in research, academia, and history teaching. Participants will explore diverse educational approaches, from analysing historical narratives through social media to using architecture to teach about totalitarian regimes.

The Innovation Days will feature nine practical workshops demonstrating engaging teaching methods that resonate with young learners. Examples include using LEGO to teach concepts of democracy and leveraging the medium of football to impart historical knowledge. With a focus on interactive and student-centred learning, these workshops aim to bridge the gap between traditional teaching methods and the interests of contemporary youth, fostering a deeper understanding of history in the process.