Exploring the ‘Learn to Discern’ media literacy programme in the US
Association for Citizenship Teaching members from across England have made the trip across the Atlantic to participate in a Media Literacy Exchange in the United States. In a programme sponsored by the US Embassy in London and facilitated by global development and education organisation, IREX, teachers will be visiting Washington DC, New York and Boston in order to expand their knowledge and practice in media literacy. Ben Miskell, Citizenship teacher from Sheffield, is one of the ten participants.
With the weaponisation of ‘fake news’ by politicians from across the political spectrum, we were keen to get straight to work after our arrival in Washington DC. Our host in the US is IREX, who are a leader in combating deliberate disinformation and misinformation in different settings across the world. Their ‘Learn to Discern’ programme is a media literacy curriculum, which is being implemented across Eastern Europe and the United States. It was great to be able to video conference with an educator in Ukraine to learn about the challenges they face developing media literacy in their part of the world.
UK Citizenship teachers alongside educators from IREX in Washington DC
We were able to spend time exploring the ‘Learn to Discern’ programme, experiencing some of the lessons and considering how we might implement some of the techniques, approaches and activities in our own practice.
UK Citizenship teachers video conferencing with Mehree who is a member of IREX based in Ukraine.
Throughout the rest of the week we are looking forward to meeting with a variety of different organisations in Washington including Common Sense Media, PBS and the Newseum. In New York we will be visiting Stony Brook University, the National Association for Media Literacy Educators, the News Literacy Project as well observing lessons at a High School in Coney Island. The last few days will be spent in Boston, where we will be meeting with the Message Movement and Media Literacy Now, before presenting our final reflections on what we can bring back to the UK.