We're committed to providing students with the chance to draw informed opinions based on thoroughly-researched, fair and balanced resources. Here's a little more on how we do it!
Who makes our resources for schools?
Content provided by The Economist Educational Foundation is produced by trained teachers, in collaboration with subject specialist journalists at The Economist newspaper. We are very careful to ensure we provide factually correct content that is subject to The Economist’s editorial process. Subject specialists help to inform our research and check that we provide balanced arguments. All content is sent to fact-checkers before publication.
How do our resources ensure fair representation of different sides?
The content presents students with a range of opinions on each topic, from different sides in any debate. For example, students might read personal accounts from various characters in the midst of a news issue, or hear from different 'talking heads' through multimedia. Students are also encouraged to reason from other people's perspectives, and also recognise which points of view might be missing from their classroom discussion.
Throughout each topic, students develop the news literacy skills that they need in order to engage with, and understand, the news. For example, students often complete activities that help them distinguish fact from opinion. They might be asked: “The news can sometimes present opinions as facts. What might be the dangers of this?”. They might also study how the same fact might be used to support two or more different opinions. Activities like these encourage healthy-scepticism from students and encouraged them to check sources and ensure arguments were supported with valid evidence.
How do we train teachers to facilitate discussion?
All Burnet News Club teachers are invited to a full day of teacher training when they begin to run the sessions. This training emphasises that:
- teachers should not shy away from teaching difficult or sensitive issues. It is safer to do this in the classroom, where misconceptions can be challenged and incorrect assumptions corrected.
- teachers should help develop open-minded discussions and challenge factually incorrect information. They are not expected to give “the correct opinion”, rather help students to justify their own arguments.
- activities in the club develop news literacy and communication skills: reasoning, open-mindedness, scepticism and speaking-up. It is through developing these skills that students are able to have an accurate view on the world and have their say on it.
- our safeguarding policy and advice for teachers on teaching sensitive issues should be read and followed.
What happens on the Hub?
The Hub is a student-led platform where we encourage discussion on each topic. All posts and comments are moderated by us, and we challenge generalisations and clarify and correct obvious misinformation.
The views expressed on the website are not those of The Economist Educational Foundation. Experts contributors are invited from both sides of the arguments to answer student questions.