Panel discussion: be confident with the complex

04 November 2021

About this event

A panel discussion exploring how to approach discussions about complex and controversial current affairs

This webinar took place on November 4th 2021, 1.30-2.15pm BST

For Political Literacy Day 2021, The Economist Educational Foundation is hosting a panel webinar to explore why discussions about current affairs belong in the classroom and how educators can navigate these complex and sometimes difficult conversations.

To engage in democracy and become politically literate, citizens need to understand the world around them and key concepts, such as power and justice, which affect us all. They also need to develop the critical-thinking skills to explore different points of view and the communication skills to join the conversations that matter.

Teachers and educators want to have these discussions with students, but may lack confidence in an increasingly polarised world where opinions are often entrenched and when the volume of information to process can feel overwhelming.

The panellists will answer audience questions and address some common challenges and ways to overcome them, including how to:

  • build knowledge with accessible and appropriate content
  • cover topics that divide
  • avoid pressing your own opinion
  • get parents on board
  • set up an environment for open discussion


Journalist for The Economist, Lane Green; London primary school teacher, Patricia Ademe; journalist and human rights and education activist, Jonelle Awomoyi; content lead at The Economist Educational Foundation, Katie Dixon; and writer and podcaster, Liberty Martin.

Who is this event for?

Any teacher of students aged 9+ with an interest in discussing the news.