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  1. Thank you. Having taught both World History and World Literature, I know the tension in deciding whether to address head on controversial topics. I greatly appreciate your pointing the way to resources that can help those we teach, whether in the classroom or other venues.

    November 29, 2018
    • glennw #


      Thanks for stopping by! And glad you found some useful stuff. These types of conversations are never easy but so important. Good luck!


      November 29, 2018
  2. Shanna #

    Thank you for this post and all the great resources! I agree that having these conversations is important but I have to admit, it’s a little daunting as I prepare for my student teaching semester. My most recent placement was with 7th grade geography and 2 hours of 8th grade US history in which my mentor teacher frequently opens the floor for these difficult conversations. Her students are passionate and unafraid to use their voices–at one point, there was a lengthy debate in 8th grade about Shay’s Rebellion and, in 7th grade, there was one about whether or not bail should be abolished. It was so interesting to see how even at their age they were interested in these topics and able to express their beliefs with their peers. Having these types of discussions has not come without consequence for my mentor teacher, however. There have been a few times in her career where administration has spoken to her about the topics she broaches with her students. She’s been doing this for 30 years so she’s generally been able to avoid too much trouble. As someone just coming into the profession, I fear I won’t be given the benefit of the doubt the way she has been. These resources will be invaluable as I continue to develop my teaching style and take over more responsibility in the classroom.

    December 13, 2018
    • glennw #


      Thanks for the insightful comment! While these sorts of conversations can be difficult, there is so much support for why we need to do them – especially for creating competent and responsible citizens.

      Check out the PDF document titled Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning. Check out the info, examples, and research on Strategy Two:

      Click to access 11048.pdf

      You also should download and read the booklet that highlights something called the Civil Dialogue Strategy:

      Click to access IGC_Essentials%20of%20Dialogue_English_0.pdf

      Lots of very specific examples and techniques to use during these types of class conversations.

      Good luck as you continue your teaching career! Let me know if there’s ever anything I can do to help:


      December 13, 2018

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