NEW: "Extraordinary U: The HxA Model of Statement Neutrality"

When should university leaders "weigh in" on controversy? A principled approach.

Read the Brief.
Heterodox Academy
Back to Resources
The Case for Contention
March 8, 2021+Team HxA
+Teaching

Discussion Guide: “The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools”

In "The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools," Jonathan Zimmerman and Emily Robertson explore the reasons why controversial topics are widely debated outside of school walls, yet often nervously avoided within school classrooms themselves. Armed with a detailed history of American educational policy and a clear philosophical analysis of the value of contention in public discourse, they argue that the opposite is true; one of the best things American schools can do is face controversial topics head on. With common-sense wisdom, they show how emphasis in the classroom on careful, reasoned debates about hot-button issues can prepare students for lives as democratic citizens.

Heterodox Academy invites current K-12 school administrators and teachers and those training to become administrators and teachers to adopt or adapt these discussion questions as warranted by their interests and circumstances. Our one request: within an environment of open-mindedness, curiosity, and intellectual humility, please encourage disagreement and ensure everyone has an opportunity to be heard.

Share:

Get HxA In Your Inbox

Related Resources
Event guide
Event Planning Guide
November 17, 2023+Martha McCaughey
+Academic Careers
Pps cover
Princeton Principles for a Campus Culture of Free Inquiry
August 9, 2023+John Tomasi
+Viewpoint Diversity+Open Inquiry+Campus Policy+Institutional Neutrality
Make a donation
Make a Donation

Your generosity supports our non-partisan efforts to advance the principles of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement to improve higher education and academic research.

This site use cookies.

To better improve your site experience, we collect some data. To see what types of information we collect, read our Cookie Policy.