Here are a collection of blogs featuring the theme of using controversy in the classroom; Not necessarily teaching with controversial topics, but using the technique of pitting equally potent concepts against one another during a normal educational lesson. This idea was born in 2019, when I met James Norman, aka Mountain Buddha, author of “The Write Inspiration” blog.
James had written a blog on a controversial topic: Using expletives while teaching college students, “Potty-mouthed Professors: Why They’re the Best” (Oct. 2018). This article was thought-provoking and generated a lot of conversation through comments/replies. In addition to getting involved through leaving a comment, I wrote a blog of my own featuring a conversation I had recently had with my third grade students. We had discussed the controversial topic of blaming others for your farting out loud (Can Controversy be Classy?). James found this hilarious and reblogged it. A friendship ensued.
James and I are planning to research and write on this subject often, thus this page. Please feel free to explore the topic in your own classrooms. You can tag James and I along with using #ControversyCanBeClassy. Who knows, perhaps this will turn into something more than a collection of blogs. We would love to use your stories to further the cause, which ultimately is to help students think more critically. Thanks, and hope to hear from you!
On Thanksgiving I played Cribbage with my family. Witnessing my daughter having to use critical thinking to decide which card to place into the crib, I was reminded of the inner conflict one experiences when confronted with a controversy.
This blog explores different card games analogous to teaching strategies, and proposes teachers try using games in controversial ways or choosing ones that are innately controversial to use in the classroom.
This was one of the first times I purposefully pitted two related topics in order to have my third graders think critically. It was a smashing success!
The original controversially classy blog from The Captain of Class about what to do if you fart out loud. Check it out for some laughs and comment with your perspective/recommendation.