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Friday, February 14 • 12:00pm - 1:10pm
Teaching Controversial Issues

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Are you nervous about teaching contentious or controversial issues and divergent perspectives in your classroom? We can help! This session reports on a federally-funded project to equip teachers with tools to engage with "hot topics" in a way that allows students and teachers to dialogue across difference. You will learn how to apply research from social psychology in your classroom to de-escalate defensive reactions arising from "worldview threat." This approach has been shown to not only decrease conflict, but also to increase student: engagement, inquiry, and critical thinking. We will also reveal how this framework can serve as a lens to understand conflict studied as part of the social studies (and other) curriculum topics (e.g., colonization, genocide, internment). Attendees will gain: theoretical knowledge, specific classroom strategies, examples and anecdotes about implementing these ideas, and a website with lessons plans and resources based upon the session.

avatar for Cathryn van Kessel

Cathryn van Kessel

Emotions and Teaching In Support of Diverse World Views
Cathryn van Kessel is an associate professor at the University of Alberta in Secondary Social Studies Education. As a secondary school teacher, Cathryn taught junior and senior high social studies and Latin for a decade, and now teaches social studies curriculum and instruction classes... Read More →

Friday February 14, 2020 12:00pm - 1:10pm MST
Salon 2