Discussing Politics in Classroom

What kind of relationship binds Education and Politics together? Is it OK for a teacher to allow endless battles between students on a ground of political issues and viewpoints? And if so, should they only control the overall politeness of a discussion or express their beliefs too?

Those questions are highly discussed lately among loads of professionals, starting from psychologists and ending up with teachers themselves. Topics, like politics and political situations, can inevitably create an excellent platform for open discussions, making students express their own points of view and learn how to lead tolerant discussions if only led correctly by a tutor. Still, such an argument also forms out a potential thread of viewpoints improvement, polarizing students, creating conflicts and fights. All those issues are probably valid concerns, for if we rely only on tutor’s abilities to control the discussion, we should remember, tutors are people, who have different temper and views. So, we never know how a discussion like that might end.

Let’s try to consider all the pros and cons of discussing politics in the classroom and see, whether this is a good idea or a potential threat to be avoided.

Positive Moments

  1. Making students think for themselves

This is the very first and one of the best arguments playing for leading such discussions. It is for sure, that while participating in conversations with politics students would need to consider their own views, think for the arguments and form out their own position towards prevalent issues within the topic.

  1. Making students defend their views

No doubt, that studying process is a powerful tool and the best environment for students to learn how to protect their beliefs. Forming out a position is great. Still, it needs to defend with sound logical arguments and supporting facts. Skills like that are gained only in practice. And what could be better, than discussing topics, which are not readily defined as good or bad? The political situation always has loads from each side, which makes discussions fascinating and free from cliches and general statements.

  1. Looking for balance

Easier said than done, of course. While leading those discussions students are eager to know tutor’s opinion on the topic, and, of course, they tend to accept it as an authoritative one. So here is the crucial thing to learn for both, teachers and classmates, how to keep balance and evaluate each opinion as equal. A great situation to determine tolerance and fundamental human rights. For example, when discussing studies on women in politics, who should lead such a discussion? Whos opinion matters more?

Negative Moments

  1. Fights

People, especially when young, tend to see things either red or blue. So, discussing politics in a classroom can transform into a polarized conversation between two groups and start a big fight among them. The most significant issue in such a situation is that this fight won’t be over when class finishes. It can transform into almost a war between two groups, which would continue fighting in each case.

  1. Tutors can much bias

One of the most influential argument against teaching politics in the classroom. Teachers are not able to lead a discussion without prejudice, for they are people too. They do have their own opinion, which usually is accepted as a correct one. Thus, if teacher supports one view along with one group of students, the confronting team might be hurt. Those student’s self-respect can be damaged for no reason.

  1. Students are not mature enough to lead such discussions

Loads of experts believe that youth is not mature enough to form their personal critical thinking on the subject. Thus they will merely follow leaders, like tutors or older students, who are considered to be more educated and experienced. At the very end, we might get a massive group of people fighting for someone else’s viewpoints without personal consideration of the issue.

Final Thoughts

Even the question of implementing politics discussions in classrooms is controversial enough to start a fight between speakers. The arguments for each decision, pro, and contra are substantial. There are loads of decisive moments, teaching opportunities and platforms for students to grow while those conversations. On the other hand, we all know how dangerous such discussions may be. They can lead to fights, lowering of student’s self-esteem and unwilling to defend positions after hearing tutor’s ‘authoritative’ opinion. We’ll leave the conclusion open. We all have a right to take our own position in this regard.

I guess I am the only one in this class so here goes nothing.
What…err…what are you trying to say?

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