ERIC Number: EJ710916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 17
Building a Tolerance for Disagreement: An Important Goal in Social Studies Instruction
Martinson, David L.
Clearing House, v78 n3 p118 Jan-Feb 2005
The author of this article states that one of the more troubling aspects of contemporary American culture is the considerable number of persons who feel no obligation to support freedom of speech and/or freedom of the press. Those who disagree are perceived as dangerous. There are right answers and wrong answers, and to suggest that one might learn something from those who espouse ideas other than one's own quickly leads to a charge that one is "selling out." The author contends that a primary goal of social science instruction in a pluralistic-democratic society should center on directly confronting such intolerance, while at the same time avoiding suggesting to students that tolerance demands that one treat all ideas as equals. The key to this is assisting students in recognizing what it means--and does not mean--when one speaks of the importance of tolerating disagreement in the context of the complex and ever evolving experiment in American democracy, in which they hopefully will become active participants.
Descriptors: Controversial Issues (Course Content), Social Studies, Conflict, Teaching Methods, Educational Objectives, Democracy
Heldref Publications, Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Web site: http://www.heldref.org.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment