The Challenge of Teaching Controversial Issues
Publication Date 1 Jan 2007
OverviewIt is 18 years since an authoritative book appeared on teaching controversial issues. Today, new and pressing issues, local and global, challenge our capacities as teachers. In England, the compulsory secondary citizenship curriculum and primary guidelines in the national curriculum have completely altered the educational context. How should we respond to children's questions about war or refugees? How can we teach children about democracy? Or about climate change? Children urgently need to learn about controversy and democratic and rational approaches to managing conflict. But evidence from teachers indicates that while they believe teaching about controversial issues is crucial, they find it challenging. They want to understand their own role and be equipped with effective approaches to sensitive and complex issues. This timely book will do just this. International in its vision, relevant, practical, up to date, it spans preschool through to Higher Education. Each chapter dissects the nature of a specific controversy and offers practical strategies for helping students work through possible solutions. Whether describing work with five year olds about war and peace, for instance, or exploring racism with university students in a mainly white environment in Canada, the authors draw on their own experience. The key dilemmas and suggested approaches, relevant for teachers in all educational settings, cover: educational policy and social justice; teaching young children about war and global conflict; using children's literature and drama to explore controversial issues; teaching about climate change and sustainability; and, teaching about controversial issues with post 16 pupils. "The Challenge of Teaching Controversial Issues" is for teachers and co-ordinators of Citizenship, PSHE, English, drama and humanities subjects across the age ranges, primary and secondary heads, policy makers, inspectors, trainee teachers and tutors. It provides conceptual clarity and practical value to everyone concerned with teaching about controversy today and will be recommended reading on PGCE and undergraduate Education Studies courses.
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