Identifying, detecting and reflecting on signs of radicalisation

⌚︎ 2 min.

Learning resource

Identifying, detecting and reflecting on signs of radicalisation

Raising awareness about signs of radicalisation identified in young people who joined extremism. Becoming familiar with causes of radicalisation as well as strategies used by extremists to attract young people.
Proposal for use
Prevention of radicalisation
Target group
Teachers, trainers and educators
Pedagogical method
Case study
  • Clarifying schools‘ role in preventing, detecting and reacting in case of radicalisation.
  • Understanding what radicalisation means and why people may be drawn into terrorism through it.
  • Raise awareness about signs of radicalisation.
  • Detecting signs of radicalisation among students and taking necessary steps.
  • Protecting students from radicalisation.

a. Elicit from teachers what they know about the phenomenon of radicalisation.  Get participants to discuss in groups of three or four, each with a different task (what they think the causes are; how people are recruited; ways of recruitment; who can fall easy prey to radicalisation). Discuss with the whole group.

b. Participants get familiar with six different cases of radicalisation (varied causes and displaying a range of profiles) through the handout. They make a list of the causes and signs of radicalisation.

c. The groups report their findings and establish common lists of causes and signs that can help teachers detect radicalisation.

d. Participants do some research on the internet to complete their lists, and report the findings to the entire group. Conclusions based on the research (the phenomenon is very complex and unpredictability is one of its features).

e. In groups of four, teachers create a possible profile of a radicalised young person. They share their ideas.

f. Each sub-group tries to find solutions for a case (see handout), reports to the entire group before discussion.

g. Group discussion:

  1. It seems that one of the best tools of recruitment is the internet. Some schools have banned or limited the use of internet within their premises. Do you agree with this measure? Why? How can we help tell the difference between reliable and fake information?
    How can we help them stay away and safe from the dangers of internet?
  2. What strategies do extremists use? Why? (Brainstorming, discussion.)
    (Suggestions: the bandwagon approach. Bandwagon is a fallacy whereby one supports an argument by simply saying that "everyone is doing it" instead of coming up with an adequate justification. Bandwagon is a persuasive technique through which a writer or speaker persuades his readers or interlocutors to agree with them even if their statements are not valid, by claiming that "everybody else does it". It is based on the assumption that the opinion of the majority is always valid (it means to follow what others are doing or agreeing with).)
    • appealing to emotions: appealling pictures, sentimental messages, religious values;
    • appealing to basic human values and needs: pride, self-sacrifice and loyalty;
    • cool factor etc.
  3. What is the role of the school? Do you discuss such topics with your students?
    How far do you agree with discussing such topics with your students?
    Where can teachers get help and advice about handling radicalisation?
    What support or training is available?
Human and material resources

Handout - Six case studies.

Evaluation of the learning process

Feedback questionnaire

Suggestions for follow-up

Teachers can discuss the cases with their students.

Implement a module from the Toolbox, e.g. the section on Fake news, to develop critical thinking or to fight conspiracy theory.

Awareness module
Pedagogical modalities
Use in group
Number of participants
Fundatia EuroEd
Date of creation
Language(s) available


Portuguese, Portugal