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Accepting Responsibility for Teaching Controversial Issues in Teacher Education: A Cross-National Study

Fri, April 9, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), Division K, Division K - Section 1 Paper and Symposium Sessions


The call to teach controversial in our schools grows louder as crises explode around the globe. Yet teachers are typically unprepared to take up this challenging practice. Those who do generally teach students who are racially, economically, and educationally privileged, which contributes to unequal democratic learning opportunities and civic empowerment gaps. Scholars and policymakers urge university-based teacher educators to prepare their preservice teachers to teach controversial issues, but little research documents their efforts. This paper presents a study of how four teacher educators, in Northern Ireland, England, and the United States, prepared their preservice teachers to teach controversial issues in history, citizenship, and social studies, and how preservice teachers learned to enact this practice in real classrooms.