24 February 2020

A new teaching resource about the Brexit referendum from a youth perspective, the first of its kind, will be launched today.

Led by Dr Darren Sharpe, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Health and Human Development at the University of East London (UEL), the Me and Europe Key Stage 4 Teaching Guide is aimed at politics, citizenship and PHSE teachers working with pupils aged 14 to 16.

Based on policy evidence produced by Dr Sharpe and collaborators on the voting behaviour of young citizens over the last decade, the guide will help teachers to employ strategies to help pupils develop their understanding of the Brexit process and its implications for democracy in the UK.  

The interactive teaching resources are split over three levels, which cover the David Cameron years leading up to the referendum, Theresa May's negotiation with the EU on her Brexit deal and the later negotiation with the UK Parliament,"

Dr Darren Sharpe, senior research fellow at the Institute for Health and Human Development at UEL, said.

The final lesson features the Boris Johnson months in which he renegotiates the Brexit deal with the EU and the UK Parliament, leading to the UK departure from the EU on 31 January 2020 after 47 years of membership.

Speaking in the Foreword to the new guide, Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King's College London and director of the UK in a Changing Europe, said, "Young people do not participate as much in politics as they should. And one reason is because we do not spend enough time informing them about politics as we should.

"This resource makes a valuable contribution in this regard. The EU referendum was not merely a huge democratic event in its own right, but its effects will impact on us and our country for many years to come."

The resource is based on the website Me and EU, which has been selected to be archived with the British Library on the merits of scholarship and contribution to the recording of British heritage.

Funded by the UK in a Changing Europe initiative and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the website provided the general public with accurate information leading up to the UK Referendum on EU membership and the Brexit process.

"The website not only provided up-to-date information on how the Brexit process might impact the rights of young people, but it also provided a link to register to vote and presented features, reports and research undertaken by the UK Research Councils and the European Union on Youth Affairs," Dr Sharpe said.

"The website is now archived with the British Library because it provides a snapshot of British heritage and forms the central resource for anyone wishing to use this interactive guide."

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