[Digital Brief] Teachers Not Shying Away from Political Talk but Still Fearful (Education Week)

April 7, 2017

While national politics create sharp divides in school communities, most teachers aren't avoiding the topic, according to a survey from the Education Week Research Center. Fifty five percent of 830 participating teachers responded that they have not avoided discussing current controversial issues in the classroom this school year, and another 28 percent did not avoid talking about national politics with their students. But teachers are still fearful of parental and student pushback. Only 44 percent said their training adequately prepared them to handle contorversial discussions, and 23 percent said they have received no such training. Most teachers said they have not received guidance from administrators on how to talk about such issues with their students.  Read more.

When asked where they did receive guidance or ideas, just 40 percent cited their fellow teachers, administrators, and other staff members; 27 percent said news articles; 17 percent cited curriculum from social-justice organizations like Teaching Tolerance; and 13 percent said they drew from their own experience and common sense.