Learn to Discern is a highly adaptable approach that has been used in diverse geographies such as Ukraine, Serbia, Tunisia, Jordan, Indonesia, and the U.S. to address a host of challenges posed by misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and influence campaigns.
Learn to Discern's focus on developing healthy information engagement habits and increasing demand for quality information provides a range of effective solutions. It reaches youth and adults in classrooms, libraries, community centers, youth clubs, fellowship programs, peer-to-peer networks, online, and other contexts.
In settings as different as Jordan, Serbia, and Georgia, IREX’s youth-led peer-training model for L2D skillbuilding has produced consistently positive (and statistically significant) results. In Jordan, 65% of young people who attended the peer-to-peer learning initiatives improved their knowledge of how news and information work.
High school instruction
Integrating L2D competencies into instruction of history, language, literature and other subjects to mainstream media literacy through the education system has been proven effective in L2D-Education program in Ukraine. In an evaluation of students in 50 schools, students were twice as likely to detect hate speech and 18% better at identifying fake news stories after Learn to Discern. With its adapted approach to the education system; L2D worked through 400 secondary schools in cities from each of Ukraine’s 24 oblasts with the goal of reaching 650 schools by 2021.
Training for Adults
In Ukraine, 15,000 adults have built skills to avoid being manipulated through trusted community leader trainings. 1.5 years after the program, an assessment that compared their information engagement habits with those of Ukrainians who have not been trained showed that the L2D group scored 13% higher at identifying disinformation.
The Learn to Discern: Media Literacy Trainer’s Manual (PDFs in English and Georgian) is a curriculum for educators in formal and informal education environments. It provides step-by-step guidance and interactive exercises for helping learners of all ages recognize why and how manipulative content works and gain skills to reject half-truths, clickbait, hate speech, and fakes. These issues are especially important for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and preparing citizens for elections.
Background illustration: Photo from IREX