Is classroom off-limits to teacher views?

  • Article by: MARIA ELENA BACA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 25, 2011 - 7:23 PM

Sharing opinions with students on politics and other controversial subjects is a delicate balancing act.

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jeffrow75Dec. 25, 11 8:45 PM

Teachers should not be giving their opinions in class when it comes to political issues. They should give the FACTS, and let the students form their own opinion.

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mcgibbonsDec. 25, 11 8:59 PM

re: jeffrow75Dec. 25, 11 8:45 PM Teachers should not be giving their opinions in class when it comes to political issues. They should give the FACTS, and let the students form their own opinion .... They should be able to express their opinions on human rights issues such as the acceptance of gays and lesbians.

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skalocDec. 25, 11 9:00 PM

As a "Teacher", it is the responsibility of those instructors to give both sides of an issue. Most Political solutions have good and bad points -- it should be the final decision of the student what they feel is right. High School is a time where there are still adults to assist young adults in their experimentation with the rules and values they have been taught by their parents and society.

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richterscaleDec. 25, 11 9:14 PM

If you know anything about education, which commentors like "jeffrow75" must not, sticking to purely FACTS is the LOWEST level of education proficiency. If you teach in a manner that says "Everything is either black, or white... fact fact fact" no deeper thinking is ever forged, critical thinking skills and application (higher levels of education) require far more than facts.

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minn12Dec. 25, 11 9:25 PM

Teachers should be facilitators of different viewpoints. They should act like judges do in a courtroom. A judge NEVER takes sides, that should be up to the members of the jury, which in this case, should be the STUDENTS, after hearing all sides of the issues. Once a teacher takes sides (expresses personal views), that is bound to have a chilling effect on the half of the class that does NOT share that viewpoint. The best possible situation in a classroom would be for it to be impossible to figure out the teacher's own personal viewpoint.

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tandabussDec. 25, 11 9:36 PM

Giving personal opinions is fine, so long as the teacher makes it crystal clear that that's what it is--not THE right opinion. Teachers who are going to give their own opinions also need to go the extra mile to make sure that opposing opinions are welcome in the classroom. Good teachers can do this.

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aspartzDec. 25, 11 9:39 PM

"They should be able to express their opinions on human rights issues such as the acceptance of gays and lesbians." -- should they also be allowed to espouse views on opposition to you view?

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worldunionDec. 25, 11 9:42 PM

Students want to know what you think about a topic. You don't have to back away from the issues. You just need to be clear that students need to think for themselves.

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DufferHDec. 25, 11 9:44 PM

Why do commenters such as mcgibbons always have to turn everything to a discussion of sexual orientation?

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buzzard23Dec. 25, 11 9:46 PM

Teachers should be helping students learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

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