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Exploring Controversial Issues in the Classroom

Exploring Controversial Issues in the Classroom

Social justice media and technology in teacher education

ATEE Spring Conference 2020/2021, Florence, ITALY, October 28 2021

Keynote Address By Renee Hobbs

Educators are themselves citizens who express and share political views as part of their personal identity. They may care deeply about issues including climate change, immigration/migration, growing economic inequality, health and wellness, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination, or other topics of concern. But in the classroom, some educators do not feel confident or comfortable exploring controversial issues with students, while others make clear their particular positions on political issues without necessarily reflecting on the inequality in power relationships that may silence their students. The practice of critical media analysis and reflection help teachers navigate both the opportunities and the challenges of exploring contemporary controversies in the classroom. Teachers benefit greatly from safe and structured opportunities to talk about the ethical and moral implications of their decisions to address or ignore controversial issues in the classroom.