Sun May 26, 2019 3:24 PM
The importance of Controveral Topics
This article is adaptable to almost any subject area. In this article, Kelly Cannard explains the importance of allowing controversial topics and discussion in the classroom. One of the reasons that the stated is that controversy allows the teacher to observe students’ thoughts on real-life issues as they express their thoughts through group discussion. With practice engaging in controversial discussions, students can learn how to think critically and discuss a ‘grey’ issue persuasively and respectfully. The article explains that students will have different perspectives on controversial issues because of personal experiences and other factors that will influence their individual opinion. However, by discussing topics that are not clearly black or white, students are active in their learning as they build scientific understanding and enhance their communication skills while expressing their opinions or disagreements with reasoning and support. Controversial issues also give students a sense of appreciation for others who must make tough decisions for issues that are controversial as they understand that there can be educational logic that supports each side of the argument. As students engage in these discussions, they should have background information, be exposed to multiple perspectives, understand how to effectively engage in group debates and engage in a follow up with the discussion. This could be done by allowing students to interview others, research, imagine how others might feel, understand discussion protocols and engage in a follow up such as writing a persuasive essay or debating. These components will allow students to better express their understanding of both debates and the controversial topic at hand as they understand different perspectives, discuss with others collaboratively, communicate their understanding of underlying issues and present their own educated perspective on the issue. The idea of this concept can be applied to and integrated to any subject that presents a controversial topic.