Training pack: teaching controversial issues

Democratic Governance of Schools PDF
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This publication is the outcome of a project funded by the European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme “Democratic and Inclusive School Culture in Operation (DISCO)”. For more information please visit the website of the Joint Programme:

This Training Pack is a professional development programme for teachers designed to support and promote the teaching of controversial issues in schools in Europe.

The Training Pack seeks to address the challenges of teaching controversial issues through the development of a comprehensive package of training and professional development material. It aims to help teachers recognise the value of engaging young people in controversial issues and develops the confidence and competences needed to make it a part of their everyday practice, through the creation of ‘safe spaces’ in the classroom where students can explore issues that concern them freely without fear and through the use of teaching strategies and techniques which promote open and respectful dialogue. 

It takes the view that, while there are no ‘quick fixes’ and not every issue will be suitable for every age group, ultimately there is no good reason why controversial issues should be avoided in schools and classrooms and every good reason why they should not.

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To cite this resource: Council of Europe. (2016). Living with Controversy. Teaching controversial issues through education for democratic citizenship and human rights [Training pack for teachers].

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