Via HISTOLAB, the Council of Europe and the European Union are developing a toolkit to debunk fake news in history classes in cooperation with the DICSO research group (University of Murcia, Spain). This toolkit will consist of 20 learning-activities that aim to develop competences in the treatment of historical information, in the recognition of fake news and hate speech from history. The research group in charge of designing, implementing, and evaluating this toolkit is composed of secondary school teachers, and researchers on history and history education. Researchers from Europe (Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, England, Ireland and Sweden) are participating in this design, while researchers from Canada and the US are participating as expert reviewers.
To evaluate the effectiveness of these learning-activities, and the complete toolkit, a teacher training course will be designed so that teachers can implement the activities in their own classrooms. Data from more than a hundred secondary school classrooms is to be collected, with more than a thousand students expected to participate in the process in order to evaluate how their skills improve in the respective fields of competence.
Finally, education in democratic values in history lessons, the capacity to evaluate the reliability of sources, and the training of teachers and students will be the three axes that will make up the toolkit of activities with the goal to learn how to debunk fake news and hate speech through history.
For more on the purpose of the toolkit, check out this article written by our expert group.
The toolkit is scheduled for release in the autumn this year.