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The Economist Educational Foundation

Facilitating high-quality, global discussions about the news

We support children from under-served backgrounds to develop essential skills for the modern world. We do this by enabling them to join inspiring discussions about the news which teach them to think critically, communicate effectively and understand the world. Children who take part in our activities can make five times more progress in creativity, problem-solving, listening and speaking skills.

HundrED 2021


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2021

HundrED 2020

Digital Wellbeing

Web presence






Target group
February 2024
The change we hope to see in education is for children to learn about the big issues shaping their lives and futures and be able to learn to listen openly, question information and arguments, conceive creative ideas and speak with confidence about real-world issues. We hope to see classrooms engaging with students from all around the world to learn about new perspectives and experiences.

About the innovation

Giving young people the skills to think for themselves about current affairs.

We enable inspiring discussions about the news in schools. We provide educational news content, teacher training and resources. We also bring together schools from different communities and countries for global conversations.

By taking part in these discussions, young people learn to think for themselves about the news. They become able to see fake news, one-sided debates and unsound arguments for what they are. They practice having their say about issues affecting their lives.  The young people on our programme can make five times more progress in speaking, listening, problem-solving and creativity compared to a controlled group.

In uncertain times, the ability to think critically and communicate confidently about real-world issues is a hugely valuable asset. It not only gives young people a voice, it helps them to succeed in school, the workplace and beyond. . Misinformation has increased this year, from myths about the vaccine to conspiracy theories and fake news surrounding the war in Ukraine. It’s crucial that we equip young people with the skills and knowledge to make sense of the world.

We are reaching 4,000 teachers worldwide and creating weekly news-content for them to facilitate weekly discussions with their students about the big issues shaping the world. Recently, we have run a series of resources on the Russian invasion of Ukraine to help young people understand the war and join high-quality, fact-driven discussions about this huge global story. 

Every week, hundreds of young people from all over the world join discussions on our online platform, the "Student Hub". They share perspectives on current news stories. These discussions are facilitated by our in-house teachers with the support from global topic experts who share their experiences and ideas on the topic with students. 

Get in touch to find out more: www.economistfoundation.org

Sign up for our free, weekly resources here: talk.economistfoundation.org

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

With the increase of online exposure, the importance of news literacy has increased exponentially. The Economist Educational Foundation is equipping students with the power to decipher fact from fiction and increase their ability to be critical thinkers and engage in thought provoking discussions.

HundrED Academy Reviews
The ability to engage students in rigorous, evidence-based discussions of current events has the potential to be very powerful, particularly if it's done at a meaningful dosage.
Great innovation with a clear focus on economics as the central pathway for education and global leadership. Wonderful research to prove points.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process


Adapting our resources for SEND students
Between January and March 2022, we piloted adaptations to our Topical Talk programme to make it more accessible for SEND students. Over the course of three months we: Created and published a series of SEND-appropriate teaching resources to enable young people to join discussions about the news. These have been downloaded over 3,000 times. Consulted teachers working with SEND children and integrated their feedback to make our teaching resources and online learning site more accessible. Trained SEND teachers to facilitate high-quality discussions about the news."The structure and accessibility of the resources have allowed students to venture forward in their thinking and it’s been noticeable even after a few weeks. They are tackling things they would have been frightened to tackle – the concepts and the understanding they have now has been beyond anything I have seen them be able to get to with other resources." - Denise Jackson, Laleham GapOUR KEY TAKE-AWAYS FROM THE PILOT:SEND specialist schools and teachers are in a very good position to bring topical discussions into the classroom to develop media literacy. For example, they often have more curriculum flexibility.A focus on inclusion benefits media literacy programmes as a whole, making them more impactful for all students, not just those with identified SEND needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to adaptation, so supporting teachers to adapt for their particular students is critical.It’s particularly important to provide structured support with online learning. 
Conspiracy theories
In this resource, students can discuss why conspiracy theories are more common in times of crisis, why people spread them and how they should be debunked. They can also flex your problem-solving skills and come up with new ways to show people what's true.Download it here: https://cdn.burnetnewsclub.com/media/documents/Headlines_Conspiracy_Theories_in_the_News.pdfFind our library of resources here: talk.economistfoundation.org
Discussions about the metaverse
In this resource, students can explore the reality behind virtual worlds, identify the problems they might create and suggest how these can be solved. Download it for free here: https://cdn.burnetnewsclub.com/media/documents/Headlines_33_Metaverse_UK.pdf 
Tips for discussing the news (for students)
We've created some tips for students on how to discuss the news with others, including:Listen firstTalk about ideas, not peopleIt's fine to think differentlyIf you don't know, don't worryShare how you're feelingDownload it here:https://cdn.burnetnewsclub.com/media/documents/EconomistFoundation_Tips-for-discussing-the-news-1_1.pdf
Our series of resources on Russia and Ukraine
It's important for young people to understand what it going on in today's world. We created a series of resources on the Russia-Ukraine war to enable young people to learn about the war.Download them here and find more resources on our website: talk.economistfoundation.orghttps://cdn.burnetnewsclub.com/media/documents/Headlines_35_Russia_whats_the_next_move_UK.pdfhttps://cdn.burnetnewsclub.com/media/documents/Headlines_38_Russia_and_Ukraine_Propaganda.pdfhttps://cdn.burnetnewsclub.com/media/documents/Headlines_39__Russia_Ukraine_Refugees.pdf
Students discussed the American withdrawal from Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s turbulent history has made it a regular focus for global news – and for the last 20 years, the spotlight has been on its relationship with America. Recently, America withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, and the Taliban seized control. The chaos that followed was watched by the world and left people asking: should American troops have left? In November and December 2020, Topical Talk students discussed whether American troops should've withdrawn from Afghanistan. This magazine showcases their opinions and perspectives over the eight weeks. https://cdn.burnetnewsclub.com/media/documents/TopicalTalk_Project_2_Afghanistan_Hub_Highlights.pdf 
How to identify trustworthy news
This framework gives a basis for how to question how the news is presented to us. It highlights that there are certain things to look out for and consider when deciding if the news we get is trustworthy.https://cdn.burnetnewsclub.com/media/documents/EconomistFoundation_News-Literacy-Framework_Trustworthy-News_04.pdf 
Black Lives Matter: free learning resource for young people
This bulletin comes in response to the protests for racial equality that are happening all over the world, specifically under the “Black Lives Matter” movement. It provides opportunities for discussing racism and racial discrimination by exploring questions like: • Is racism always obvious? • Is treating people equally always fair? • Is racism getting worse?
What is racism? Free learning resource for young people
This bulletin comes in response to the protests for racial equality that are happening all over the world, specifically under the “Black Lives Matter” movement. It provides opportunities for discussing racism and racial discrimination by exploring questions like: • What is prejudice? • What does discrimination look like? • Whose responsibility is it to end racism? This is an important topic to cover because it affects the lives of young people and is increasingly visible in the media.
The Burnet News Club Hub Highlights Magazine 2020-21
Burnet News Club highlights
Free home-learning resources to help children discuss the news
Numeracy in the News
Covid-19 Child-led free learning resource
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have a new kind of responsibility to help young people to keep learning while schools are closed. We are committed to helping them understand this scary and misinformation-plagued news story, in a way that aids rather than harms their wellbeing.We created free home learning resources that help children think critically about what they hear about Covid-19:Covid-19: Free child-led learning resourceCoronavirus and Gender: free child-led learning resourceCoronavirus and wellbeing: free child-led learning resource
Empowering a news literate generation: Impact Report 2018-19
Impact Report 2018-19
2018 Burnet News Club Impact Report

Implementation steps

Contact us
Visit https://talk.economistfoundation.org/ to sign up to receive our free resources, access our resource library and take part in the Topical Talk Festival.

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