How can educators nurture a functional democracy when young people struggle to find reliable sources of information? To dig into this question, I am joined by Ken Boyd from CIVIX Canada.
Ken Boyd is the Director of Education at CIVIX, a Canadian charity that develops experiential learning programs to help students develop skills and habits of informed citizenship. He researches and develops materials for two programs: PoliTalks, a program that helps students develop the skills needed to have constructive discussions about political and social issues, and CTRL-F, a digital media literacy skills program that helps students identify mis- and disinformation online. He also runs training sessions and workshops with teachers and students to teach them about digital media literacy and how to navigate an increasingly complex online world. Ken holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto. Before moving to the non-profit sector, he taught philosophy at a number of universities across Canada, and was most recently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern Denmark, where he worked on research projects about the barriers to communicating scientific information online. He is also a writer of public philosophy, and a regular contributor to The Prindle Post, a digital publication focused on ethical issues in the news.
CIVIX is well known to many Canadian educators for taking real-life political events and turning them into teachable moments that bring democracy alive in classrooms. Their Student Vote program is very likely how you heard about their work, but in this episode I speak with their Director of Education, Ken Boyd, about CTRL F, their verification skills program.
I mention a few times in this episode that we likely need to get Ken Boyd back to do a deeper dive into some of the ideas that we noodle through. We talk about the current information-crisis, lateral reading, the importance of experiential education to democracy, and where to find hope amidst our backdrop of chaos. You definitely will want to stick around for Ken’s ticket out the door where he shares some of the best advice I’ve heard in a while. I know you are going to want to listen carefully to this episode, so maybe have a notebook handy or the notes app on your phone ready to go.