A West Virginia University expert says one solution for America's divisiveness and inability to handle society’s most complex, controversial problems lies in classroom communication. Trusting the teacher, feeling understood and exploring diverse perspectives “equips our youth with the tools to engage in a democratic society,” according to Tiffany Mitchell Patterson.
“In this political climate, meaningful connections can be made to social studies curriculum to facilitate discussions of social issues and controversial topics in classrooms. Controversial topics such as racism and police brutality, xenophobia and immigration, gun rights/control, abortion, women’s rights and climate change, among others, are prevalent issues in today’s society. Students should have the space in classrooms to grapple with these complex issues. This equips our youth with the tools to engage in a democratic society and explore our society and world through diverse perspectives. By creating a safe classroom environment, providing time for students to analyze diverse source material, and structuring conversations so that all students feel heard and understood, teachers can truly discuss anything with their students.”
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