This review essay explores the complexities and challenges involved in addressing controversial issues in the K–12 public school classroom, drawing from two recent books: Noddings and Brooks’s Teaching Controversial Issues: The Case for Critical Thinking and Moral Commitment in the Classroom and Zimmerman and Robertson’s The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools. This educational work requires thoughtful preparation by teachers, support from administrators and communities, and careful discernment about whether issues require pedagogical neutrality or directive instruction. Teaching young people how to understand unfamiliar perspectives and engage respectfully across ethical disagreement should be a fundamental priority for schools.

Response to this Article

Emily Robertson, Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools

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A case for contention cover image

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Teaching Controversial Issues cover image