Teachers from Slovak high schools graduated from Autumn School: Teachers against Disinformation

Slovak Security Policy Institute with the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak republic, Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung and NATO PDD has organised during November 10–12 2017 an Autumn School: Teachers against Disinformation in Bratislava.

The discussions and trainings, with the participation of twelve teachers from all over Slovakia, focused on alarming problem of spreading false news, disinformation and propaganda in Slovak society.

The three-day event was opened by the director of SSPI Jaroslav Naď and Barbara Tiefenbacher from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

The opening remarks were followed by a followed lecture on “Disinformation and Critical Thinking” by Ján Markos, teacher and trainer of Critical Thinking. An introductory lecture of this event has sparked a discussion among teachers about the practices that would be the most effective for their activities with students in the class.

The next day, was full of exciting themes prepared for the students. The first lecture of the day was presented by the teacher of history and activist of the portal-Dezinformácie Hoaxy Propaganda – Juraj Smatana, on “Extremism once and today”. The lecture on what are currently the most spread “Myths about the European Union and NATO” was introduced by Peter Bátor, Head of the Security Policy Department and Councillor, who works at the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic.

The afternoon program was led by Ondrej Gažovič, a lecturer of critical thinking, who prepared practical exercises in his workshop “Critical thinking in teaching at high schools” for teachers. For example, teachers could actively work with and critically evaluate the articles that the media provide us, they could learn where to look for signs of influence or misconduct, and how to verify facts. Thanks to that, teachers may use similar exercises with their students after the autumn school.

On the closing day, participants of the autumn school were provided a “different” point of view on the issue of fake reports and hoaxes in the media – through the eyes of a journalist, with the lecture “Media and Radicalization. The role of media in the company ” which was presented by Miroslava Kernová, journalist and director of Omédiách.com.

Graduating from the Autumn School, teachers received certificates and proposed the creation of a common platform for teachers where they could share their knowledge and experience together after the end of the autumn school.