Partner Spotlight: The Economist Educational Foundation

When did your organization launch and why?

The Economist Educational Foundation is an independent charity established in 2012 by employees of The Economist newspaper who were passionate about helping young people engage with the news. The organization enables young people to join inspiring discussions about the news, which teaches them to think critically, communicate effectively, and understand the world. Learning these things can change a young person’s life, setting them up to thrive at school, work, and as citizens.

What does your organization do? What are its main goals? Main projects?

The Economist Educational Foundation creates resources that enable young people to discuss and debate the news. By joining these discussions, young people gain critical thinking, communication skills, and knowledge about the world around them.

1. CLASS DISCUSSIONS: Teachers discuss the news in their classrooms using resources created by our expert teachers and journalists.

2. CLASSROOMS CONNECT GLOBALLY: Students use our online Hub to exchange perspectives with peers all over the world, with input from global topic experts.

What makes your organization stand out? What would you say is the most unique thing about your organization?

The Economist Educational Foundation brings together young people from all over the world to discuss and debate issues in the news. The organization cleverly combines teaching and journalistic expertise. All of the resources are fact-checked and edited by volunteers at The Economist. Creating resources is a rigorous and intensive process. The Economist Educational Foundation follows the exact same editorial process as any content The Economist publishes, so we are confident our materials are accurate and high-quality. The combination of teaching and journalistic expertise to create educational materials positions the organization an expert in the education and media sector.

Young people discuss and debate these issues with other students from all around the world. On the online learning site, students write blog posts and share their perspectives on the news story. No other similar platform exists – it is unique. The organization encourages students to use facts to back up their arguments, solve problems by coming up with their own ideas, and listen to other people’s opinions to widen their understanding of the news story.

What are recent projects or new resources that your organization would like to share with other NAMLE members?

The Economist Educational Foundation’s program, Topical Talk, provides weekly resources for teachers of students aged 9+.

Headlines cover a different news story each week. A new one is published every Friday.

– Weekly session plans
– Printable supporting resources
– Online polling

Projects explore one issue in depth over five weeks.

– Sequenced session plans that build towards a final piece of work
– Printable supporting resources
– Online polling
– Q&A with global topic experts

What are the connections between the work of your organization and media literacy?

Everything the organization does develops key media literacy skills in students. Activities center around the problem-solving and creativity skills needed to understand the news, as well as the communication skills to have your opinions heard on the issues affecting your life.

Why is media literacy important to your organization?

Media literacy improves young people’s life chances.

Media literacy skills are identified by employers as essential to succeeding in the workplace.
A focus on communication skills and discussion supports academic success in school and beyond.
Giving young people accessible, relevant information about societal issues and space to practice discussing them supports democratic engagement.

Read more about why media literacy matters on our website.

The views and opinions expressed in the Organizational Spotlight blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NAMLE or its members. The purpose of the Organizational Spotlight blog is to highlight our Organizational Partners and give them a place to share their reflections, opinions, and ideas.