why it’s especially important to deliberate in diverse schools

(Washington, DC) In a new article, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg and I argue that discussing current, controversial issues is an effective way to teach civic skills and raise students’ interest in politics. Such discussions are relatively rare in schools that are “racially pluralistic” (having no racial majority), probably in part because diversity makes teachers and students wary of broaching controversy. Yet the benefits of discussion are strongest in just those schools. That may because the students’ diversity is an asset for good conversations, and also because planned discussions fill a gap in diverse schools that pervasively lack political conversation. Our article assembles the quantitative evidence for controversial issue discussions in racially pluralistic schools and offers tips for teachers and links to helpful organizations. See Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg & Peter Levine, “Challenges and Opportunities for Discussion of Controversial Issues in Racially Pluralistic Schools,” Social Education, vol. 79, no. 5 (Oct. 2105), p. 271-7 (or via Academia.edu.)

About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.
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