Training and qualification for professionals in the field of radicalization prevention in right-wing extremism
Background of the Teach2Teach project
Experts from science and practice see a connection between the openly communicated hatred (on- and offline), the diatribes of right-wing populist and right-wing extremist actors and an increasing acceptance of violence. The goal of the right is to polarize, incite, and ultimately desolidarize our free and diverse society.
Teachers, educators and social workers in particular are often confronted with inhuman or anti-democratic statements from students, parents or colleagues. Many feel unsettled by the aggressive behavior and the supposedly safe argumentation patterns of right-wing thinking. They shy away from clearly naming and confronting group-related hostility towards people and democracy.
Focus and benefits of Teach2Teach
The Teach2Teach project aimed to enable (future) educational professionals to recognize right-wing patterns of action and interpretation, to react to ideologically based devaluation strategies and to establish or maintain a self-confident professional relationship with people at risk of radicalization.
In close exchange with academics and practitioners, the project team analyzed current trends and developments in the field of right-wing populism as well as challenges and needs in the prevention of radicalization. In regular expert meetings, experienced professionals exchanged insights and methods for dealing with problematic statements and actions. The goal of the meetings was to identify starting points for promising training and qualification measures for multipliers who have not yet been sufficiently strengthened.
Based on the results of the expert meetings, the project team continuously developed flexible workshop modules for dealing with manifestations that occur specifically in the context of so-called right-wing populism and assume bridging functions to right-wing extremist attitude patterns. The project also examined the extent to which already familiar prevention approaches from the phenomenon area of Islamist extremism can be transferred to the field of right-wing populism, but also right-wing extremism, and vice versa.
The workshops, which lasted one or more days, were tailored to the needs of the participants in their individual work context. Within the framework of the project, for example, further training courses were held for colleagues at schools and daycare centers, as well as workshops within training and further education institutions.
Structure of the Teach2Teach workshops
In the workshop, world views and strategies of right-wing groups were presented, one’s own personal attitude was reflected upon, and possibilities for behavior in conflict situations were tested.
Further topics and focal points included
- Radicalization processes of young people
- Recruitment strategies of right-wing groups
- Discrimination and racism
- Conspiracy theories
- Development of media competence
Participatory and interactive exercises were used, such as discussions in small groups or role plays, which offered a lot of room for reflection and insight. There was also the opportunity to discuss current incidents within one’s own institution.
The modules, which were tested in practice and subsequently evaluated, were finally disseminated and core results as well as module content and working materials were published in a methods manual.
The methods manual: Right-wing populism and right-wing extremism can be downloaded here.