Why Teach History?

A Website for James L. Smith

Handling Controversial Issues
by James L. Smith

Although no single approach can help history teachers deal with every controversial issue or situation they might face, here are my guidelines for dealing with controversial subjects.
  • Be fair.
  • Use good judgement.
  • Be able to justify what you do in the classroom.
To elaborate on these three points, here are five web pages that provide information about dealing with controversial issues.

Academic Freedom and the Social Studies Teacher
(from socialstudies.org)

Dealing with Controversial Issues
(from learner.org)

Controversial Issues in the Classroom
(from pbs.org)

Religion in History and Social Studies
(from the American Historical Association)

Bias, Hate Speech, and Prejudice Discussions
(from the University of Oregon’s Teaching Effectiveness Program)


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