Terrorism classes for children

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Last week, Professor Dr Beatrice de Graaf (History of International Relations) received the prestigious Stevin Prize from NWO. In her science column in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, she writes how happy she is to receive this award and she elaborates on a challenging research project that she can develop further with this money: terrorism classes for children.

This is because De Graaf observes that scientists are busy writing complex articles, while children have to figure out all the news articles and videos on terrorism that they see on social media for themselves. In order to help children and their teachers think and teach about these kind of themes in an understandable way, De Graaf has started a pilot project: Ter Info.


Ter Info is a mobile website that aims to increase the social resilience against terrorism in primary and secondary education. The platform helps teachers to discuss terrorism with various age groups in a clear, factual, responsible and connecting way. Ter Info offers concise and balanced information and the required pedagogical handles to talk about terrorism on a group level. The offered material, developed by experts in dialogue with education professionals, is aimed at students of various backgrounds and age groups. The following becomes clear by means of current articles: what happened, how do we explain that, and what does it mean for the students themselves? The website will be presented in late 2018.


This means that the intention for the Stevin Prize is completely in line with the prize's goal: to encourage the utilization of knowledge and transfer scientific knowledge to a broad audience. "The degree in which these children learn to separate their facts from opinions, learn to form their judgement and continue to talk to each other about power and violence lays the foundation for our social cohesion and citizenship in the future."

Prof. dr. Beatrice de Graaf. Foto: Rafaël Philippen
Prof Dr Beatrice de Graaf. Photo by: Rafael Philippen


Beatrice de Graaf is a historian with ties to Institutions for Open Societies, an interdisciplinary research field of Utrecht University aiming to develop and extend healthy open societies anywhere in the world.