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POLITICAL LITERACY DAY 2021

Political Literacy Day is a chance to celebrate and raise public awareness for the achievements of a wide coalition of civil society organisations, schools, teachers and young people. With a big enough wave of public support generated on the day, we will convince those in Westminster still on the fence that Political Literacy is a non-partisan issue and necessary addition to the curriculum. In other words, Political Literacy is, beyond a doubt, #WorthTeaching.

SHOUT OUT UK (SOUK)

We are Shout Out UK, a social enterprise committed to ensuring that every single young person receives the Political Literacy education they need to actively participate in our democracy. We are working to galvanise support for the provision of comprehensive Political Literacy education.

4th November 2021

PANELS

Throughout Political Literacy Day on the 4th of November, we will be hosting a series of panels by a variety of civil society organisations. These panels will explore the various barriers to embedding political literacy education within the curriculum. It is an opportunity to celebrate the sector’s achievements, ascertain areas for improvement and learn more about how to actively participate in politics!

The various panels that will be running are listed below:

The Economist Education Foundation 

Panel Title: Be confident with the complex: current-affairs discussions in the classroom

Description: For Political Literacy Day 2021, The Economist Educational Foundation is hosting a panel webinar to explore why discussions about current affairs belong in the classroom and how educators can navigate these complex and sometimes difficult conversations.

To engage in democracy and become politically literate, citizens need to understand the world around them and key concepts, such as power and justice, which affect us all. They also need to develop the critical-thinking skills to explore different points of view and the communication skills to join the conversations that matter.

Teachers and educators want to have these discussions with students, but may lack confidence in an increasingly polarised world where opinions are often entrenched and when the volume of information to process can feel overwhelming.

The panellists will answer audience questions and address some common challenges and ways to overcome them, including how to:

  • build knowledge with accessible and appropriate content
  • cover topics that divide
  • avoid pressing your own opinion
  • get parents on board
  • set up an environment for open discussion

Panellists include:  journalist for The Economist, Lane Green; London primary school teacher, Patricia Ademe; journalist and human rights and education activist, Jonelle Awomoyi; and content lead at The Economist Educational Foundation, Katie Dixon.

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Fourth APPG Meeting

Discussion Theme: Political Literacy: A Subject #Worth Teaching

Description: Against the backdrop of Cop 26 and Parliament Week, the 4th APPG meeting on Political Literacy will explore why Political Literacy is the cornerstone to creating a comprehensive education that ensures young people are equipped with the tools to handle the political challenges facing the world today.

With presentations from the WWF, Votes for Schools and spoken word performer George the Poet, we will explore the links between climate change and political literacy. This meeting will focus on young people’s attitudes towards climate change and the current real-life Political Literacy provisions available to young people. Alongside this discussion will also be launching our report. This report will explore the current provision for political literacy education, barriers and attitudes towards Political Literacy held by parents and teachers. The largest survey of attitudes of its kind since the Longitudinal study in 2000, join us as we launch our report and continue to discuss exactly how to approach and support policymakers in their efforts to secure the statutory inclusion of political literacy education in secondary schools across the UK.

Co-Chairs: Simon Fell MP, Lord Iain McNicol
Co-Vice-Chairs: Nickie Aiken MP, Cat Smith MP
Secretariat: Shout Out UK

Key themes that we hope to cover:

  • What are we doing in the UK to tackle the Climate Crisis and how are young people a part of this process?
  • How are Climate Literacy and Political Literacy connected?
  • How can effective Political Literacy education help equip future generations to handle the climate crisis.
  • What does the Political Literacy journey currently look like?
  • The reports key findings and actions points
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I Have a Voice 

Panel Title: Top tips for engaging with Parliament

Description: For Political Literacy Day, I Have a Voice are discussing the Top tips for engaging with Parliament. Have you ever wanted to contact your MP but not been sure about how to do it? Have you ever wanted to speak up and take action about an issue affecting you and your community but not been sure how to create change? Then this panel is for you!

We’ll be joined by Tulip Siddiq MP, Charlotte Adamson and a youth campaigner. They will share their top tips about how to meaningfully engage with the political system. You’ll develop an understanding of how you can use your voice to advocate on the issues that matter to you and your communities. By taking a proactive and constructive approach you can achieve great things!

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Lie-Detectors

Panel Title: Why do we need to teach political literacy in schools?

Description: Lie Detectors is a media literacy campaign that has introduced more than 15,000 school students in five European countries to the concept of fact-checking and debunking fake news.

The founder and Executive Director of this innovative project Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck shares insights from their work in Europe’s classrooms. After her presentation, the Lie Detectors founder discusses its significance for political literacy in conversation with Lord McNicol, the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Political Literacy.

Speakers:

  • Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck, founder and Executive Director of Lie Detectors
  • Lord McNicol of West Kilbride, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Political Literacy

Moderator:

  • Jane Whyatt, Director of Communications at Lie Detectors
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Unlock Democracy 

Panel Title: You have POWER! How you can make your voice heard with elected officials at every level

Description: On Political Literacy Day, Unlock Democracy is hosting a panel on how to exercise the political power that every young person has in their hands. To build a vibrant, inclusive democracy that puts the people in charge, we need more people from all walks of life to get involved, whether that’s as a voter, a volunteer, a candidate or even working in politics or civil society. That’s how we’ll get the action people want on climate, on inequality and on the other big issues facing our future

 

We will be joined by Baroness Natalie Bennett, former Leader of the Green Party, Tom Brake, Director of Unlock Democracy and Shaun Roberts, Head of Campaigns at Unlock Democracy. Together we’ll discuss and answer your questions on how to navigate the different parts of our political system to make the power you have count.
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2%

Why Political Literacy day is so important.

In 2018, just 2% of children in the UK were found to have the skills needed to establish whether a piece of online information is real or fake. Whilst, the Centre for the Future of Democracy’s recent report found that global youth satisfaction with democracy is at an all-time low.

Recent events such as the violent insurrection against democratic institutions in the United States, the spread of online misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, and the ongoing threat of climate change have all shown that democracies are fragile. The most effective way to strengthen self-government is through an educated, tolerant, and ultimately vocal populace. This education is Political Literacy and it needs to start in the classroom. It needs to start now.