Tackling Controversial Issues in the Primary School : Facing Life's Challenges with Your Learners book cover
1st Edition

Tackling Controversial Issues in the Primary School
Facing Life's Challenges with Your Learners

ISBN 9780415550185
Published August 2, 2010 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

How do you broach family values with seven year olds? Can you help young children understand racism? Can you avoid bringing your own prejudices into the classroom?

Talking effectively about controversial issues with young children is a challenge facing every primary school teacher. Tackling Controversial Issues  in the Primary School provides teachers with support and guidance as you engage with the more tricky questions and topics you and your pupils encounter.

Illuminated with case studies and examples of how teachers and children have confronted issues together, this book helps you understand your own perspectives and provides fresh approaches for the primary classroom.

It considers how best to work with parents and carers, whole-school policies for tackling issues, and ideas for circle time, setting up international links, school councils and buddying systems. The range of challenging topics covered includes:

  • family values
  • racism in mono and multi-cultural settings
  • democracy and citizenship
  • the environment and sustainability
  • consumerism, finances and media advertising
  • gender, health and identity
  • grief and loss.

For all student and practising primary teachers, Tackling Controversial Issues in the Primary School provides much needed support as you help your learners face complicated ideas, find their voice and get involved in the issues that they feel make a difference.

Table of Contents

Preface  Acknowledgements  1. Introducing Controversial Issues: concepts and challenges  2. Living Together: anti-racist education in mono and multicultural settings  3. Family Values: what and who makes a family?  4. Developing Worldviews: global citizenship and care for the environment  5. Democracy, Politics and Cooperation: involving children in decision—making and collaboration  6. Gender, Identity and Acceptance: together everyone achieves more  7. Grief and Loss: facing change, death and bereavement  8. Remembrance and Remembering: challenges and opportunities  9. Learning and the Market: addressing values and consumerism  10. Conclusion – Towards Inclusive Practice: tackling controversial issues  References  Index


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Richard Woolley is a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education and Fellow in Learning and Teaching at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK.


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