Recent events have called into question the idea of teaching across political views and polarization. While politics play a huge role in our society, they are also often encountered in schools, which are meant to be places of acceptance and learning. In my classes at the University of Minnesota, I have had the opportunity to learn about a variety of political views. I teach courses related to social studies, including U. S. history and sophomore humanities.
As our country continues to grow increasingly polarized, it is important to understand the root causes of polarization and income inequality. We live in a time when the ideological differences between the major parties are at an all-time high and the country’s political system has never been more divided. However, we should also remember that this polarization is not a permanent feature of American democracy.
For example, many educators avoid discussing politics with students, either for fear of reprisals or because they believe that political conversations are inappropriate. However, polarization is not simply a cultural phenomenon – it’s a growing problem in public education. According to Paula McAvoy, professor of social studies education at the North Carolina State University, “teachers should avoid talking about politics in the classroom.” Educators should also avoid endorsing candidates or specific party positions.
Ideological self-identification also plays a major role in our political system. We often categorize ourselves as very conservative, very liberal, lean liberal, or some combination of the three. As we grow increasingly polarized, our political beliefs become more accurate indicators of our policy preferences.
The debate about political polarization in America is complicated, and the concept of polarization itself is hard to define. However, we can say that there are certain psychological bugs that contribute to political polarization. Some of them include shifting communication platforms and tribalism. These two factors have contributed to our country’s political polarization.
While teaching across political views and polarization in classrooms is challenging, it can be done in a respectful and productive way. In a democratic society, we need students to learn to think critically about political questions and be able to deliberate over them. Teaching across political views and polarization is a critical part of this process.
Those who teach across political views and polarization need to be vigilant about current events in their fields. As these issues are constantly evolving, they must keep up with the latest developments and understand the implications of current political issues. Moreover, they need to articulate their educational objectives in a clear way. A skilled teacher will align curriculum and context with the aims of the lesson.
Check our academic programs here.