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Title: Discussing controversial issues in the PSCD classroom : listening to PSCD teachers
Authors: Bianchi, Rachelle (2024)
Keywords: Moral education -- Malta
Career education -- Malta
Social skills—Study and teaching -- Malta
Classroom environment -- Malta
Teachers -- Malta
Education -- Malta
Issue Date: 2024
Citation: Bianchi, R. (2024). Discussing controversial issues in the PSCD classroom: listening to PSCD teachers (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: This research aimed to explore the engagement in dialogues with individuals of differing values, a practice that is crucial to the democratic process and vital for the promotion and reinforcement of a culture of human rights (Hess, 2019). Controversial and sensitive issues will inevitably appear in the PSCD classroom discussion (Parker & Hess, 2001). These may include issues on politics, religion, culture, or social norms, frequently involve competing values, beliefs, and interests (Hand & Levinson, 2012). For this reason, educators need to be ready to talk about these topics with their students. Issues become contentious when people hold conflicting or opposing viewpoints. When this happens, people usually have strong beliefs and feelings about an issue, leading to a series of complex and emotional responses. The study delves into the complexities surrounding controversial and sensitive topics, emphasizing their significance to individuals and society. It acknowledges that such issues often involve value conflicts, disputed claims, and heightened emotions, contributing to societal division and mistrust. Specifically focusing on contentious matters during Personal, Social, and Career Development (PSCD) lessons, the study raises pedagogical concerns about safeguarding students' feelings, addressing conflicts, and delivering sensitive material. The research, adopting a qualitative design with semi-structured interviews and Reflective Thematic Analysis (RTA), aims to explore how educators handle these challenges. The main findings highlight the myriad challenges faced by professionals when addressing contentious issues in the classroom. These include navigating diverse perspectives, managing student conflicts, and ensuring a safe and inclusive learning environment. The study advocates for future research to prioritize a student-centric approach, aiming to understand their perspectives on engaging with controversial topics. Recognizing the influence of cultural and societal norms on classroom discussions is deemed essential. Overall, the research sheds light on the experiences of professionals dealing with contentious issues and underscores the need for a comprehensive understanding of student needs and experiences in educational settings.
Description: MTL(Melit.)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2024

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