Some believe that it’s important for teachers to provide complete “objectivity” in the classroom, and treat both sides of events and beliefs equally.
I believe that it is important to understand both sides of issues – as the old community organizing adage goes, “we live in the world as it is, not as we would like it to be.” So, understanding different perspectives is important for a variety of reasons, including for knowing what it might take to encourage people to potentially change them and for grasping what conditions might have led people to those beliefs so that they aren’t repeated.
But there are many situations where though we might want students to understand both sides, we must be clear when one is absolutely wrong.
A Reckoning Over Objectivity, Led by Black Journalists is a column by Wesley Lowery that clarifies this critical point. Though it’s directed at journalists, it’s pretty easy to just replace the word “journalist” in it with “teacher.”
Of course, Why “Both Sides” of a Story Aren’t Enough from Teaching Tolerance has also made this point very clearly and directly about educators in the classroom.
I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics.
this piece gets at the fundamental problem with these old notions of neutrality — it makes obfuscating vast differentials in power into a journalistic virtue. https://t.co/i9HLfEK2Ym
— Lysol In E Flat (@GeeDee215) July 22, 2020