An educator’s primary task is to motivate students. In many cases, students possess pre-existing emotions associated with various environmental and social issues. By capitalizing on the emotional response provoked by a controversy, an educator can create a compelling, inspirational educational experience.
If you were unable to attend the 2005 EE Capacity Building Workshop “Teaching about Controversial Issues” here’s your chance to get the nuts and bolts online. The MN Office of Environmental Assistance has posted the workshop synopsis which includes:
** Effective teaching strategies
** Examples of bias
** Promote thinking and discussion
** Guidelines for resolving conflicts
Building the skills to understand controversial issues helps students develop in many dimensions of their lives. Social, spiritual, moral and cultural skills and attitudes are all expanded and refined by experiencing the power of multiple viewpoints. By teasing apart the nuances of complex issues, students can improve their political literacy and gain motivation for community involvement. They can learn to feel optimistic about their ability to understand and influence the world around them.
Credits: This material is shared online with permission of the presenters from the International Wolf Center (Ely, Minn.):
• Andrea Lorek Strauss, National Information and Education Director
• Jen Westlund, Program Director