Pros and Cons of Controversy

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1.93% of higher education faculty believe critical thinking is an essential learning outcome. A 2005 report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities demonstrated the need for efforts to promote critical thinking by highlighting the disparity between the 93% of higher education faculty that perceive critical thinking to be an essential learning outcome and the 6% of undergraduate seniors that actually demonstrated critical thinking proficiency. Source: Ian J. Quitadamo and Martha J. Kurts, "Learning to Improve: Using Writing to Increase Critical Thinking Performance in General Education Biology,” CBE Life Sciences Education, Feb. 2007. 2.Critical thinking is considered the second most important life skill after…show more content…
2013 7.Teaching controversial topics helps students develop non-violent strategies for dealing with conflict. A 2008 case study of social studies teachers concluded that: "Teaching controversial issues allows students to question and to express their fears in the safety of the classroom, and provides opportunities to develop their social skills such as learning how to listen to one another, to deal with difficult topics, and to handle their anger and frustrations without resorting to violence. Importantly, it is not about teaching students to avoid conflict, because conflict and controversy are part of human relationships, but rather where schools provide neutral grounds for rational discourse and objective study.” Source: P. Reitano, C. Kivunja, and K. Porter, "Teaching Controversial Issues In Schools to Prepare Children for a Sustainable Global Village," Australian Association for Research Education website, 2008 8.Controversial issue assignments increase critical thinking skills and appreciation of cultural diversity. A 2003 evaluation of students given a controversial issue assignment found that: 98.25% "agreed, strongly agreed, or very strongly agreed" that "they were more sensitive to the concerns of people from diverse populations" after completion of a controversial issue assignment. 9 6.4% "agreed, strongly agreed, or very strongly agreed" that "their knowledge about a population other than their own" had increased. 94.7%
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