Purpose: • To agree what we mean by ‘controversial’ and to appreciate that this is a relative term • To examine our own values in discussing controversial and sensitive issues • To recognise the underlying skills needed to address controversial and sensitive issues with young people
Where are You? 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10
Which were similar / different? • Which were the more difficult to decide and why? • Immigration to the UK should be limited • Denial of room for gay couple because of Christian beliefs • Pupils to know about causes of radicalisation • Arranged/forced marriage infringes human rights • Channel 4 should air mistreatment of children attending madressahs • New arrivals should be made to speak English • Eradicate national borders • World without ‘religion’ would probably lead to less conflict
On Your Table: • Look at your role play card. • One person read the role card information to the rest of the table • Vote in role
Where are you now? In role 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10
‘People with extremist views like Nick Griffin (BNP) should enjoy freedom of speech and be allowed to take part in programmes like Question Time’
‘ All sexual relationships (bi-sexual, heterosexual, homosexual) are of equal value…we should give balance and equal weight to this diversity when teaching about relationships in school’
‘Localand national controversial issues (eg racist murder at GolcarKirklees 2007, the 7/7 bombings in London or 9/11 in New York) should be discussed and explored with all children and young people’
On Your Table: • How would you define ‘controversial’? • Why is discussion of controversial issues often avoided with young people? • Why should we discuss controversial issues with young people?
‘Issues that are likely to be sensitive or controversial are those that have a political, social or personal impact and arouse feeling and/or deal with questions of value or belief’ (Teaching Controversial Issues: Oxfam – 2006) The term is relative and dependent upon context.
The power of the media • How children and adults learn about their community and their world • Who values are promoted? • Whose world view? • To what extent are differences/stereotypes/prejudice promoted by the media? For what reason? What might be the purpose of the story/photo?
Media literacy ● absorb new information ● judge its bias and reliability ● analyse it ● synthesise it through a process of reflection on their own current views ● draw their own conclusions ● make informed decisions
Developing media literacySNAPSHOTS To encourage pupils to question why and how certain images are used, and to show that these images do not always give a complete picture. • What might be the purpose of the photograph? • Who is it appealing to? • What might be going on outside the frame of the photograph? • Who took the picture? • What different photographs could have been used?
conflict 1.Ask ypto watch a TV news programme and record details of all stories that include an element of conflict. How is the conflict portrayed? Heroically, as a good thing, as a bad thing, neutrally or in another way? 2.Pupils can then investigate an aspect of a current conflict, using Newspapers on the internet. Ask them to find a range of newspapers, from the UK and abroad, and to search for two or more articles on the same conflict. They should evaluate their sources, by asking questions such as: ● Is there more fact or opinion? ● Does the report or article set out to be factual or is its purpose to present a point of view? How do you know? ● How could the style of writing be described? ● How does the use of language affect how you feel about the conflict and its causes? ● What images are used? Why were these images chosen? What effects do they have? ● Who is providing information? Who has a voice? ● Whose voices are missing?
Teaching Controversial Issues: What needs to be in placeif we are to discuss controversial issues safely? What skills do young people need to be taught to address controversial issues?
“Teaching Controversial and Sensitive Issues” – What should be in place? • SLT support • Staff confidence/competence - sensitivities of issues – (individual pupils/school/community); underlying issues of topic • Group work / critical thinking • ‘Safe’ spaces - ethos and practice of school • Speaking and listening to facilitate discussion. Agreement reached over language used – protocols • Communication – eg Parents
“Teaching Controversial and Sensitive Issues” – Skills… • Self awareness & sense of belonging • Understand & manage own feelings • See things from another point of view • Work together as part of a team • Conflict resolution • Ability to make choices - rights and responsibilities • Express/justify a point of view, reflect critically & stand up for self • Ability to be challenged & change a personal view
The Island by Armin Greder