Strengthening Media Literacy in the Ukrainian Education System

Strengthening Media Literacy in the Ukrainian Education System


The Learn to Discern in Education (L2D-Ed) program works with the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science to integrate critical information consumption skills into existing secondary school curricula and teacher training programs at pre- and in-service teacher training institutes.

Building on IREX’s proven media and information literacy methodology, L2D-Ed works with an array of media and education stakeholders. The project designs and adapts instructional approaches to equip Ukrainian youth, educators, and adult learners to resist misinformation, propaganda, and other forms of manipulation.

Quick Facts

  • Learn to Discern in Education strengthens individuals’ critical information consumption skills. These include the digital, visual, media, and information literacy skill sets that people need in order to recognize emotions, biases, and stereotypes while navigating today’s information spaces in a safe and responsible way.
  • L2D-Ed works through 400 secondary schools in cities from each of Ukraine’s 24 oblasts. The project will reach 650 schools by 2021.
  • Rather than creating separate, stand-alone courses, the unique L2D-Ed methodology incorporates practical skills into existing academic curricula (e.g., Ukrainian language & literature, history, and the arts) through interactive, lesson- and grade-specific activities, videos, games, and other learning experiences.
  • IREX and our partners have trained more than 1,100 eighth- and ninth-grade teachers and equipped them with L2D-Ed resources and instructional guidance to use in their courses.
  • The project has reached at least 7,500 students, who have shown better performance in skills such as distinguishing facts from opinions, detecting false stories and hate speech, and demonstrating deeper knowledge of the news media sector.


Learn to Discern in Education supports Ukrainian secondary school students, and the teachers who teach them, to navigate increasingly complex information spaces through a comprehensive, national education reform by:

  • Teaching practical critical information consumption skills in schools from each of Ukraine’s 24 oblasts through transformative curricula that build on existing class subjects.
  • Providing Ukrainian teachers with educational resources and institutional support to ensure that these skills become an official and permanent part of secondary school curricula.
  • Providing Ukrainian preservice and in-service teacher training institutes with the necessary training, mentorship, and resources to prepare educators to prioritize these skills, digital competencies, and modern teaching methods.
  • Designing and launching online resources, such as digitized learning resources for teachers, chatbots, and distance-learning content, such as the English- and Ukrainian-language massive open online course on media literacy for adult language learners.
Education is absolutely the key to cultivating smart media consumers and to countering disinformation.... It is more important than ever that our children—our future leaders—develop critical thinking skills in order to sort out truth from fiction. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch

Project Activities

  • Teacher training and rollout to students: By spring 2021, the project will include 650 schools, ultimately reaching more than 47,500 students.
  • Integration of skills in curricula: The project establishes specialized working groups of experts in media literacy, teacher training, curriculum design, and related fields. The working groups develop instructional guidance and teacher materials for integration into existing secondary school subjects for eighth- and ninth-grade students. The working groups continue to support teacher training and classroom instruction and monitor project challenges and results throughout implementation.
  • Support for teacher training institutes: The project will work with 20 in-service teacher training institutes and 20 preservice teacher training institutes to incorporate relevant skills in 70 higher-education teaching modules. This will reach at least 2,000 university-level students by March 2021 and build the capacity and resources needed for lasting change.
  • Distance learning and online learning resources: To provide blended learning opportunities for at least 1,200 adult members of school communities, IREX will design and pilot online tools, such as the L2D-Ed massive open online course on media literacy and critical information consumption skills, available both in Ukrainian and in English.
At a two-day launch event in February 2018, participants received training in citizen media literacy and began planning for the pilot rollout in their schools.