January 06, 2011
Teachers today have the challenging yet rewarding task of educating a classroom filled with diverse learners who represent a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Within these students lies a multitude of opinions and viewpoints about controversial topics that are imbedded in some of the content that is taught. Two of these content areas are history and social science. While avoiding controversy may be limited, what is not is the ability to teach controversial issues in the classroom. “Addressing Current Controversial Issues through the Social Studies Curriculum: Making Social Studies Come Alive” by Obed Dube (2009) explores the various ways that teachers can address controversial issues. Although this article is written with the focus of teachers in Botswana, the author provides a variety of ways that can be useful for all teachers around the world.
The above mentioned article explores the various ways that teachers can address controversial issues within the social studies curriculum in order to make it as lively and interesting as possible (Dube, 2009). The author provides suggestions for making the instruction and learning of social science as lively, interesting and relevant to all students in order to develop their full potentials as good citizens of this world. It is interesting that Dube points out that the content of social studies instruction concerns itself with the five “W’s”, who what, when, where and why of an issue and/or event. It is the why that tends to draw out the controversy because of the varied opinions and viewpoints that are represented within the classroom.
This is where value-based and standards-based instruction is applied. Value-based instruction is implemented to teach students how to apply what they are learning to their own personal lives and environments. It is meant to guide students to gather evidence from the...