Handling Controversy

Handling Controversy


These resources are designed to stimulate active student participation. Some of the examples and hypotheticals are controversial. They were developed (1) to provide a realistic context for students to discuss the war in Iraq, and (2) to generate critical thinking, debate, and analysis among students.

It is important to lay down ground rules in advance of discussing controversial ideas. Below are some suggested rules. Students should:

    * argue ideas, not personalities or prejudices.

    * represent the opposing positions fairly and accurately.

    * demonstrate an attempt to understand all opposing perspectives.

    * be able to admit doubts and weaknesses in their own position.

    * concentrate on evidence in their arguments.

If serious disagreement arises in your classroom, remind students that they agreed to abide by the ground rules and set about defining, or clarifying the disagreement. Teachers should:

    * Identify the issue(s) under dispute.

    * Identify areas of agreement and disagreement.

    * Identify underlying assumptions.

    * Make sure students concretely define their terms and avoid slogans and epithets.

Students should look for a chance to air their own views, hear their opponents' views, and examine both. Be sure students understand that closure of a controversy does not mean one side wins.

 


Our Major Sponsors

    gates_logo      directv        toyotalogo     20thcenturyfox  

  cbs     disney    edisoninternational    gibsundunn     morrison_foester     mungertolles     omelveny   sheppardmullin     skadden      weil   

aenetworks_logo   Alstonbird-logo   discovery     greenberg   jennerblock    katten   kirkland     msk-res-2-01   proskauer    sidleyaustin

   arnold_porter    avery-dennison-corpo-logobryancave    crowell     dechert  dentons  earnstounglogo    hbo_blue_logo   kpmg_logo    littler    mckinsey   morganlewis   nflfoundation orick   Reed_Smith_logo scripps   SoCalGas_Logo.svg strozfried   sullivan-and-cromwell walmart   whitecase    wilmerhale     winstronstrawn 

   AerospaceCorpLogo  barnesthornburg    mcguriewoods bb cornerstone