Teaching about conflict and war: Support for educators
This page has been updated to include every context of war and conflict.
This resource provides links to content that can be used to develop appropriate learning and teaching experiences around conflict and war. It can be used in providing support to children and young people who may be anxious about what they see or hear in the news.
How to use this resource
Given the political sensitivities around teaching about war and conflict, the wide range of issues involved and the specialist knowledge required, this resource aims to support classroom teaching across a range of disciplines.
Explore this resource
Conflict is an ever-present feature of our modern world. Many of our learners may have been affected by the various situations which regularly make the news headlines. It is important to ensure that the information we provide to our learners is age appropriate and enables them to explore these complex issues and to support them towards reaching their own conclusions.
Understanding the news
There is often an enormous amount of false news circulating on social media during the war. It is important that children and young people understand where to source news content and have the skills to evaluate its reliability.
The digital learning team at Education Scotland has developed a resource that supports practitioner understanding of the importance of Information Literacy: critical thinking online relating to web based content such as news.
You decide - A political literacy resource is a resource to help teachers with the teaching of controversial issues. There is information on techniques which can be used to help children and young people to improve their political literacy. Within You Decide, there is a resource which provides suggestions of how to help learners from first to third level to understand how fake news may affect them, see Fake News resource. All of these resources are also available in Gaelic.
The BBC has a wealth of relevant resources in this area, including:
It may be useful for learners to consider some of the issues around the sharing and availability of information in past conflicts. How does the media and live reporting affect opinions? How does the emphasis on some conflicts rather than others in the media affect public opinion?
Resilience and wellbeing
Children and young people may experience a range of emotions as a result of conflict and war. They could be worried and/or afraid as well as distressed by the news and what they may hear from others. Some children may be particularly vulnerable – for a variety of reasons, including those who may have family or other ties to those involved in a conflict or war. Supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is therefore an important aspect for practitioners to be aware of and sensitive to.
The Compassionate Connected Communities Professional Learning Activity provides an overview of recognising and responding to trauma. The Compassionate and Connected Classroom raises awareness of the impact of adversity and trauma. This resource, for 3rd and 4th levels provides opportunities to talk about coping with difficult situations. The Journey: Adventures in Resilience
Grampian NHS resources:
Conflict and War - wakelet - this Education Scotland wakelet contains links to useful advice and resources to support practitioners discuss war and conflict with children and young people.
The British Psychological Society has prepared a helpful blog with advice on how to support children to manage anxiety over war, conflict and crises.
ADES Forces Children's Education website has a page dedicated to Armed Forces Families - Conflict and War.
How does war impact on human rights? - a summary of the articles from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Being me through adversity and trauma: a wakelet from the Education Scotland Children and Families Team.
A useful guide for interdisciplinary learning (IDL) from OXFAM: Teaching Controversial Issues.
An IDL thought paper from Education Scotland, NoTosh and a Co-Design team from across Scotland:
Interdisciplinary Learning: ambitious learning for an increasingly complex world.
Anti-racist toolkit for teachers: this resource is for all educators who want to make a start at understanding what anti-racism is.