ERIC Number: EJ707855
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 6
The Paradoxes of Tolerance
Social Studies, v95 n5 p206 Sep-Oct 2004
Teachers who endeavor to build tolerant attitudes in their students often fall into the trap of political correctness. Political correctness can suspend free reflection on the differences inherent in otherness, which is the subject of tolerance, and creates an ideology of the generalized, abstract Other. As a result, teachers prefer to talk about the value of abstract tolerance rather than about its practical limits and antinomies. The author agrees with Peter Gardner (1992) that as social studies teachers we cannot rely on politically correct indoctrination, which equalizes all cultural beliefs. We should instead teach students to think independently and to develop their skills for drawing logical conclusions. In this article, the author examines the limits of tolerance and point out the paradoxes that result from the rule of political correctness and naive faith in the positive value of tolerance. She considers the idea of tolerance without the limits usually imposed on it, which confines it only to positive views or behaviors.
Descriptors: Political Attitudes, Social Studies, Student Attitudes, Thinking Skills, Logical Thinking, Social Values, Ethics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A