4.3 Taking a stance
As well as deciding on the approach to be taken, teachers need to consider the ‘stance’ or role that they will take. There is a legal requirement that teachers must present a balanced view when dealing with controversial issues. It is not acceptable for teachers to indoctrinate students with their views or support prejudiced stances or racist or sexist views. So what options are open to teachers?
Activity 11 Taking a stance
The stances that a teacher could adopt when teaching a controversial issue are given in Resource 1. What are the problems, challenges or potential pitfalls with each stance? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each stance from the teacher and students’ perspectives?
When deciding which stance to take, the teacher needs to consider that they are in a more powerful position than students, and that some stances may reduce the students’ autonomy. The teacher also needs to consider the impact on students’ interest and motivation, how easy it will be to prepare for the lesson, and how easy or difficult it will be to adopt and keep up through the lesson.