Political Views When teaching Controversy

Education has always been something that has been shrouded in controversy. Just think of the Scopes trial of 1925. That court case was one that helped determine what could and could not be taught in a classroom. This tells us one thing; education and politics are going to meet at some point. That’s why in this week’s readings we are talking about teaching controversy based on what a teacher’s political views are. Teachers know what political affiliation they belong to. All teachers have some method of how they face these issues. Sometimes the way they handle it makes their political view clear and sometimes it just ignores it. This is why there are 4 different ways teachers handle teaching controversy. The 4 ways are called denial, privilege, avoidance, and balance. In denial, you just basically state that there is only one true way to teach something. You basically say while yes it is controversial.. the way I’m teaching you is the right way. Privilege is basically the same as denial but you are telling them the answer and now letting students figure it out. In avoidance, you just avoid the issue because you don’t think you can teach it fairly. Finally, the last one is balance. Balance is when you teach both sides of an issue. The reason this is problematic is that some people can just view you as being biased instead of balanced.
All of these methods have pros and cons to them. If you teach one way it may not be as acceptable to the community that you are in. So how do you pick the one that is right for your situation? I think that when teaching history it is best to teach the truth. You can’t judge people’s motives in history to today’s moral standards. This is why you should just teach students to determine their own truth. What do they think is the right way? Teaching students how to think is one of the main reasons you teach in the first place. After school, this tool will help them be successful.