ERIC Number: ED253465
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Controversial Issues: Concerns for Policy Makers. ERIC Digest No. 14.
Cook, Kay K.
Intended for educational policy makers, this publication considers the teaching of controversial topics. Specifically discussed are what issues are considered controversial, why controversial topics should be taught, court decisions, ways educators can prepare for community response or complaints, and questions to address when making curriculum decisions. Generally speaking, an issue that tends to create polarized viewpoints many be considered controversial, e.g., sex, nuclear warfare, and religion/science conflicts. Curricular areas most likely to create controversy are literature, social studies, and science. The discussion of controversial issues in K-12 classrooms counteracts student apathy and allows students to learn and apply decision making and problem solving skills. The Supreme Court and lower courts tend to uphold the rights of teachers and students to engage in controversial topics. Major court decisions are briefly described. Schools should have official policies concerning the teaching of controversial issues, and teacher training should be provided. When developing curricula, decision makers should consider questions such as: (1) What inculcates creative, critical thought in children? and (2) Who determines public school standards? (RM)
Descriptors: Controversial Issues (Course Content), Court Litigation, Curriculum, Curriculum Development, Decision Making Skills, Definitions, Educational Needs, Educational Objectives, Educational Planning, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Literature, Problem Solving, Science Instruction, Social Studies, State Courts, Student Motivation, Teacher Education
ERIC/ChESS, 855 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Boulder, CO.