At the beginning of our project, sometime in February 2017, we asked students at Liceo Scientifico A. Guarasci from Soverato what would they like to know about the European Union. Little was our surprise when one of the words that kept repeating on and on was Brexit. Why?, we asked ourselves. Why would high school students from a little town in the South of Italy would be so interested about Brexit and not about Erasmus+ opportunities or about how the EU fights unemployment in Italy or other Southern countries? It took us a while to understand that probably all this interest comes from the high coverage Brexit had in Italian media. We are still discovering how the mass-media portrayed the subject, but surely there is much more to it then the newspapers have shown, which led us to choosing the topic for two of our workshops. It combines political awareness and media literacy subjects and, in our opinion, it’s a great case study.
While designing our activity, we stumbled upon a very interesting TED speech by Alexander Betts, the director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. Although a bit outdated – the speech was filmed in June, 2016 -, the large number of views (2,306,264 views to be precise) convinced us to use it in our workshop. Using non-formal activities, as usual, we presented the video during the class and then we’ve had a very interesting discussion about xenophobia, racism, political campaigns and liberal bubbles. The parallel we used between a “liberal bubble” and a “Facebook opinion bubble” proved itself to be of very good use. Of course, we mentioned that the speaker might be biased and for the next class we’ve also prepared some examples of the other side, the “Leave” voters. Working on political themes with high school students is not easy, as one always needs to ensure a minimum level of objectivity, but one thing is sure – the question whether BREXIT is a success or a failure of democracy still remains in our minds.
You can enjoy watching the video here:
And, of course, some pictures from our workshops in Liceo Scientifico A. Guarasci, with 3A, 3D and 3F. Click to see them in bigger size.