ERIC Number: ED083086
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972-Nov-22
Reference Count: 0
Problems and Decisions in the Development of a New Training Program, "Discussing Controversial Issues."
Gall, Meredith D.
Major logistical and value problems are described which confronted the Far West Laboratory's effort in developing and field testing high school student and teacher materials which make up a course entitled "Discussing Controversial Issues". Design to train both groups at the same time in basic appropriate discussion techniques, the course rationale is based on the idea that students should learn how to cope rationally with differences of opinion inherent in our pluralistic society. Four lessons emphasize the need for students to interact, listen to others, keep the discussion focused, and analyze different points of view. Problems that arouse concerned teacher role, opinion, and attitudes; selection of issues; participation of all class members; student materials and feedback; and course evaluation. Decision points reached are that: 1) teachers need to take an active role; 2) teachers do not view expression of their opinion as a problem; 3) teachers need to decide whether the course is appropriate for their style of instruction; 4) teachers view the selection of involved issues as a most difficult task; 5) discussions are fruitful when the class is divided into several discussion groups; and 6) students find materials which are concise and have high visual impact to be the most interesting. Pre-post tests indicated that teachers and students improved their use of some discussion techniques, although a few of the results were contrary to expectations. (SJM)
Descriptors: Controversial Issues (Course Content), Curriculum Development, Curriculum Evaluation, Curriculum Problems, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Educational Objectives, Educational Problems, Educational Research, Secondary Education, Skill Development, Social Studies, Speeches, Teacher Education, Teacher Role, Values
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, Berkeley, CA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, Boston, November 22, 1972