We define critical thinking as the ability to analyse, understand, and evaluate complex ideas and a range of primary source material, resulting in the development of transferable skills (research skills, analytical skills, etc.) that can be deployed in various contexts.
Borrowing from the European Commission’s Media Literacy Expert Group, media literacy is understood as the technical, cognitive, social, civic and creative capacities that allow people to access and have a critical understanding of and interact with media. These capacities allow people to exercise critical thinking, while participating in the economic, social and cultural aspects of society and playing an active role in the democratic process. It encompasses, but is not excluded to the ability to engage with digital media (digital literacy).
Media literacy is also a tool that can empower citizens, raise their awareness and support a critical approach to online content to help counter the effects of disinformation campaigns and fake news in today’s digital media landscape. It covers different media: broadcasting, radio, press, through various channels: traditional, internet, social media and addresses the needs of all ages.
Borrowing from the definition of the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network, radicalisation describes not the adoption of extreme ideas as such, (i.e., extremism) but rather a process that leads to violence.
The RETHINK consortium distinguishes between de-radicalisation initiatives (countering violent extremism or CVE) and initiatives that aim to prevent radicalisation. The RETHINK initiative is concerned with the latter: the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism (also known as PVE) through remembrance education.
RETHINK will collect practices that promote remembrance education on topics including:
- The fight against antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, intolerance, radicalisation, polarisation, collective violence, and genocide;
- The promotion of history education, citizenship education, tolerance, diversity, human rights, critical thinking, media literacy.
With a core focus on memorial institutions, RETHINK examines programmes that employ a historical perspective to address the prevention of radicalisation. We define remembrance education to include programmes that reflect on the past to highlight contemporary issues of antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, intolerance, radicalisation, polarisation, collective violence, and genocide.
This historical component is methodological as well as thematic: it describes a practice that promotes dialogue and engagement by relating considerations of past events to current affairs and debates – in other word, it holds contemporary relevance by providing tools for analyzing and understanding the present.
With upscaling we refer to the process in which a remembrance practice is (in part) implemented in a different educational context, from a formal to a non-formal settings (or vice versa), with different target groups or in a different geographical context.
Practices that are used in the upscaling phase (or: “upscaled”) of the project are remembrance practices that are adaptable by other practitioners to a different context, taking little time and effort, are free or not too costly to use or implement, and do not rely on external experts/others to be implemented.