Workshop – Controversial Topics 1: How Hot Is Too Hot? Exploring When to Support Controversial Conversations in Classrooms
January 23, 2024 at 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Date: 23 January 2023, 4:00-6:00 pm ET
Description: Engaging with controversial topics in the classroom can provide students with vital learning opportunities. But which topics offer the appropriate level of challenge for students? And which might be too “hot” to provide the basis for productive classroom learning? While the answers to these questions will differ depending on context, this interactive workshop introduces educators to a process and tools for considering their own and others’ perspectives on these questions. You will have the opportunity to reflect on current issues and to talk through the degree of controversy those issues might present in your context, whether you would choose to engage your students in discussions about those issues, and, most importantly, the reasoning behind the decisions you might make. Participants will leave the workshop with tools and a process for reflecting with their colleagues on the merits and challenges of controversial topics as well as a draft of key criteria they can use in making decisions about whether and which controversial topics have a place in their learning contexts.
Facilitators: Liz Block, Director of Strategy and Outreach, and Sara O’Brien, Curriculum and Pedagogy Specialist; Educational Ethics, Harvard Graduate School of Education