TEACH is the acronym of the Erasmus+ project Targeting Extremism and Conspiracy Theories.
The project aims to identify the needs of institutions in adult education for dealing with conspiracy-theoretical mindsets. A transnational and multidisciplinary team of experts from theory and practice in adult education develops instruments for measuring and continuous monitoring of the presence of conspiracy theories among participants of adult education classes. In a second step, a methodology is to be developed, aiming to enable educators to handle and to react to conspiracy beliefs they face in their environment. Special emphasis will be placed on European cooperation in order to ensure that the projectsÂ´ products can be applied in all EU countries.
Project period: September 2019 - February 2022
- Institute for Didactics of Democracy, at Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz University, Hannover (Germany)
- Ada-und-Theodor-Lessing-Volkshochschule Hannover (Germany)
- Demokratiezentrum Wien (Austria)
- Folksuniversitetet Stifelsen Vid Lunds Universitet (Sweden)
- Ethnotolerance (association), Sofia (Bulgaria)
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeachErasmus/
Conspiracy theories and misinformation have a much stronger impact on public discourse than they did just a few years ago and are now present through a wide range of information channels to a large part of German as well as European populations (Butter 2018). These theories often challenge the foundation of the democratic order, fundamental human rights and European cooperation. Especially regarding the growing number of older adults believing in conspiracy theories, adult education institutions are coming to the fore.
In the context of the growing presence of conspiracy theories in pan-European space, it is important to find out to what extent these phenomena also in adult education and to develop training opportunities that understand the fight against conspiracy theories and misinformation as a cross-sectional task of adult education in all areas, but especially in political and cultural education, in dealing with these theories.
Therefore, in this project:
- examines the needs of adult education institutions in dealing with conspiracy theories
- provides instruments for continuous monitoring
- develops a concept will be developed enabling the educators to deal with the theories that are relevant in their context
Particular emphasis is placed on European co-operation in the development to ensure an application of outputs in all EU countries. The immediate target group of the project are educators of adult education. Since conspiracy theories are becoming more and more relevant for a growing part of the European society and, as already mentioned above, have become more prevalent among older people in particular, a concept is to be developed that is suitable for all teachers in adult education institutions.
The immediate target group here is educators in a leading function who will be enabled to accurately identify the needs of their educators and then react to them using the educational concepts developed in this project.