Our youth is more and more exposed to viral disinformation, which is easily accessible online. Traditional media is not appealing to the young generation any longer because they feel underrepresented and disconnected from the presented perspectives in conventional media outlets. This leads to a general distrust in the press and increases the young generations vulnerability to disinformation and polarisation. With this, also the youth’s support for democratic values such as press freedom and freedom of speech is in danger.
To counter these developments, the Schwarzkopf-Foundation became part of the PEGAP Consortium in 2018. Within the framework of the newly developed project “Under Pressure”, workshops for peer-education in school classes have been developed by our Dutch partners Diversion and DROG, exploring new interactive methods such as gamification elements in the courses. With the multi-player online game “Under Pressure”, which is part of the new course curriculum and acts like a psychological vaccine against disinformation, students will be exposed to several techniques behind the creation and development of fake news, which will equip them with tools to dismantle disinformation in their everyday media consumption also outside of the course.
With our German Understanding Europe trainers, we will pilot the new course format in classrooms Germany in May and June 2020 to contribute to the development of an international PEGAP course methodology, which will then be available Open Source to a wider European public. The courses will also be tested in Sweden through our partner Fryshuset and all over Europe through our partner AEGEE Europe. A thorough evaluation of the project and its impact is being conducted by the University of Uppsala in Sweden. The project is funded through Erasmus+.
If you are interested in organising one of these courses at your school or organisation, send us an email.
Here are some impressions from the Work Visit of the PEGAP Consortium in Amsterdam on 24 January 2020, which our colleague Lena and our peer-trainer Malik from Hamburg attended.