London Metropolitan University Research Institutes
 

Teaching about democracy, democratic processes and controversial issues: dilemmas and possibilities.

Author(s) Holden, Cathie  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2002  
Editor Future Citizens in Europe Ed. Alistair Ross  
Language English  
Age group -  
Keywords/Abstract
Teaching about democracy, democratic processes and controversial issues has consistently been a difficult area for teachers. Some teachers feel that 'politics' has no place in the classroom, others worry that their own understanding is not sufficient. Yet from September 2002, citizenship education including the teaching of political literacy and controversial issues, becomes statutory in English schools. This paper reports on research into teachers' and parents' views on the teaching of topical, controversial issues and democratic processes and shows that whilst many from both groups were in favour of such teaching, they had concerns about teacher knowledge and teacher bias. The paper argues that an active learning approach to the teaching of political literacy is essential, as is clear guidance for teachers on the teaching of controversial issues. These arguments will be illuminated by examples of teaching strategies for the primary and secondary classroom.
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