Teaching Controversy

Throughout high school, I had one history teacher three times. She tended to hold very debate-heavy classes where you would have to argue an opinion. While there were times she assigned your side or whatnot you still had to argue for the most part controversial topics. However, she always ensured she remained neutral. I think that is the key to teaching controversial topics. I think it is most beneficial to provide balance. Finding enough material for and against different topics and to remain as unbiased as possible. While you may have an opinion one way or another it is important to ensure that you allow students to think for themselves. While you may not agree with what they think if they can provide a logical reason to back up their stance then their opinion is valid. I think the denial approach does not benefit any students. High school is formative for many young people and by not helping them to learn how to talk to others or learn about controversial topics you can be doing many a disservice. I also think it is unfair to push a specific point of view. Because often times peoples opinions and political affiliations stem from what they hear at home, how they were raised, and their personal morals. The approach I most agree with is balanced. I think it allows for open and healthy conversation and is a learning moment. Heavy and controversial topics are bound to come up, allowing a healthy and open space were students feel they are welcomed to share is the ideal situation.