Teaching secondary science
Teaching secondary science

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

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

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

The stances that a teacher could adopt when teaching a controversial issue are given in Resource 1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . 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.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371