What is democracy education?
... and why is democracy education important? Attacks on our democracy through fake news, disinformation and extremist movements are increasingly taking place on the Internet. In social networks, messenger groups and online forums, extremist attitudes thrive and find followers. Online, children and young people thus also come into contact with extremist ideologies. At the same time, they can actively live democracy and participation online. For example, by participating in online discussions and voting. So on the one hand, young people need to be aware of the dangers to democracy on the Internet and deal competently with news. On the other hand, they need to be excited about the many opportunities for democratic participation. On this page, we present klicksafe offers that can help with democracy education.
Fake news, conspiracy theories, disinformation campaigns and the global rise of right-wing populist parties make this very clear. Our democratic achievements cannot be taken for granted. They must be cherished and protected. Islamist attacks and extremist propaganda are also ways of shaking our Western democracies. In addition, there has been a high level of group-related misanthropy from the center of our German society for years - for example, against refugees. The fact that democracy must be defended again and again and that democracy education is important is also shown by censorship and the increasing persecution of human rights activists worldwide.
Our teaching material #fitfordemocracy addresses these problems and aims to empower young people. #fitfordemocracy is a station work for the classroom that is intended to reach young people in their lifeworld and take them along. At various stations - in analogy to a real gym - topics and situations are addressed that young people encounter in analog and digital life. Creativity and wit are used to convey the joy of democracy and community.
Democracy is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. The Democracy Gym brochure takes up this idea. It bundles eleven media-based methods for educational practice in schools and extracurricular youth education. "Democracy Gym" consists of two modular training plans with complementary warm-up and cool-down exercises. They support professionals in getting young people excited about our democracy with creativity and wit within the realities of their lives.
Democracy education is one of the fundamental tasks of the German school system. But how can democracy be taught and learned in school? Christine Achenbach-Carret from the University of Trier answers this question in the klicksafe podcast. She is an expert on democracy education in schools and has worked on the klicksafe teaching materials #fitfordemocracy and Democracy Gym.
To get young people excited about democracy, they need role models. They also need to get an idea of why democracy is relevant to their lives. At this point, we offer materials that focus on these two aspects. In two video series, we show teens and young adults exploring the topic of democracy. With an online quiz, young people can test their knowledge and learn where they encounter democracy in everyday life. And in a survey, we asked young people about false news and democracy.
klicksafe published two videos on the topic of "Fit for democracy, strong for society". In them, Jokah Tululu and Gardinia Borto give young people an insight into their personal views on the subject of democracy. Both are known for their successful social media channels. While Jokah primarily comments on the corrosive effect of hate and agitation, Gardinia brings good reasons for a spirited commitment to freedom and diversity in democracy.
In this quiz, young people can put their knowledge of democracy to the test. The quiz can also be used in school lessons or together with parents to approach the topic together and discuss the questions.
In the Actionbound game "In the Bunker of Lies", young people learn to debunk conspiracy narratives and fake news. They meet conspiracy ideologue Y, who tells them about the existence of a secret bunker under the Bundestag. In the course of the game, young people learn to check and evaluate the truthfulness of sources.
For Safer Internet Day 2022, we talked to young people about the topic of democracy. What is the first thing that comes to mind when young people think of "democracy"? What do they see as the dangers, but also the opportunities, of the Internet for democracy? What would they stand up for themselves and take to the streets for? Manahil, Jonathan and Lisa tell us in our four short videos.
On behalf of klicksafe, 14- to 24-year-olds were surveyed about false news and democracy. 96% of the young respondents stated that it is important to them to live in a democracy. Almost 70% of those surveyed see the factor of false information as a threat to democracy. The key findings of the survey can be found here.