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ERIC Number: EJ979089
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1361-7672
What Is a Controversial Issue? Implications for the Treatment of Religious Beliefs in Education
Cooling, Trevor
Journal of Beliefs & Values, v33 n2 p169-181 2012
An important debate in the literature on controversial issues concerns how to identify them. This matters for teachers because settled issues should be taught directively and controversial issues should be taught nondirectively. Teachers are professionally accountable for this decision. This article examines the contribution of Michael Hand to the debate with particular reference to religious beliefs. Hand criticises the behavioural and political criteria for their lack of attention to reason-giving and champions the epistemic criterion. Hand applies the epistemic criterion to reasoning in moral debate that relies on scriptural authority, which he argues is inadmissible because such reliance is unreasonable. The article argues that this reveals the weaknesses of the epistemic criterion because of over-reliance on the decisiveness of reason and failure to attend to the need for fairness. The diversity criterion is proposed as an alternative and the attitudes and dispositions that follow from it are described. (Contains 13 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom