ERIC Number: ED247162
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Controversial Issues: The Case of Peace and Security.
Hahn, Carole L.
Issues concerning world peace and security, as well as other controversial issues, should receive more attention in the school curriculum. An increasing number of studies on student perceptions of war and peace consistently suggest that students are acutely aware of the nuclear threat. Moreover, student knowledge about war-related issues increases with age, television viewing, newspaper reading, and parental expression about the issues. American schools today avoid controversial issues in general and the nuclear issue in particular due to the growing self-censorship on the part of teachers, administrators, and publishers who fear public criticism. The research, however, suggests that if educators want students to develop attitudes that are supportive of democracy, then they must be given practice in examining controversial issues. Teachers need moral support, advice on handling controversial issues, well-balanced information and materials on nuclear arms control, and reassurance of their legal protection in the use of controversial materials and techniques. For each public policy issue, students should consider the possible consequences and various alternatives and arrive at their own decisions in light of their knowledge and values. Students will not only acquire a better understanding of a particular issue, they will also develop analytic abilities, decision-making skills, and democratic values. (LH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Meeting of the Social Science Education Consortium and the Bundeszentrale fur politische Bildung (Irsee, Bavaria, West Germany, June 18-22, 1984).