Kent City Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

2240 - CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN THE CLASSROOM

The following guidelines are designed to assist teachers in the instruction of controversial issues, defined in Policy 2240, in the classroom:

 

A.

When a controversial issue is not part of a course of study, its use in the classroom must be approved by the principal.

   
 

B.

Before introducing a controversial issue, teachers should consider:

   
 

1.

the chronological and emotional maturity of the students;

   
 

2.

the appropriateness and timeliness of the issue as it relates to the course and the students;

   
 

3.

the extent to which they can successfully handle the issue from a personal standpoint;

   
 

4.

the amount of time needed and available to examine the issue fairly.

   
 

C.

When discussing a controversial issue, the teacher may express his/her own personal position, as long as s/he makes it clear that it is only his/her opinion. The teacher must not, however, bring about a single conclusion to which all students must subscribe.

   
 

D.

The teacher should encourage student views on issues as long as the expression of those views is not derogatory, malicious, or abusive toward other student views or toward a particular group.

     
 

E.

Teachers should help students use a critical thinking process such as the following to examine different sides of an issue:

   
 

For each stated position:

   
 

1.

What is the person (group) saying?

   
 

2.

What evidence is there that what is being said is true?

   
 

3.

What is said that would lead you to think the position is valid?

   
 

4.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of this position?

   
 

5.

What do you think would happen if this point of view was accepted and was put into practice?

   
 

For reaching conclusions:

   
 

1.

On balance, what do you think is the most reasoned statement? the most valid position?

   
 

2.

What is there in the statements that supports your conclusion? What other things, beside what is being said, leads you to your conclusion?

© Neola 2010