Benefits of Teaching Controversial Political Issues to Students

Politics represent an essential part of a healthy society. Whether we like it or not, political happenings often dictate the development of other civil spheres all around us, making the topic unavoidable in the process.

This is doubly true if you are a professor of civil, legal or political courses where students have more questions than your average youth. But what are the benefits of actually involving political issues and social questions into your curriculum without making it sound subjective or detrimental?

Social activity

Students that have an active exposure to current and controversial political issues have a far better understanding of the world as a whole. Their need to know more about politics leads them to a far greater social activity in the process. It’s true that the youth we teach today will carry the world on its shoulders tomorrow. Why not teach them about current happenings and how they ripple throughout society, for better or worse?

They learn to develop personal opinions and participate in social happenings in a more engaging manner than they otherwise would. This means that they will be encouraged to take up volunteering opportunities; work harder in school and all-in-all focus more on their career development.

Political literacy

Teaching students about politics and its more controversial subject matters allow for a far greater political literacy on their part. Participating in conversations, events or even voting activities throughout the year is nigh impossible without proper knowledge of what is what in politics.

The untaught youth is open to manipulation and abuse as a result, meaning that political parties can easily influence them into doing something that might be considered wrong by the country’s majority. Prevention is the best kind of treatment, which means that increasing overall political literacy can have great results in shaping the future of a country.

Developing objectivity

Whenever we look at the current state of global politics, we can see an overall lack of objectivity and personal stances. Students who are about to step into adulthood should be taught to differentiate selfishness from good intentions, and what better way to do so than through real-world political examples?

Objectivity can be developed through careful examinations of actual examples that have happened throughout history as well as recent or current events. Keep in mind that the professor’s role in the matter should be absolutely objective and without personal bias.

If the person teaching the students is unbiased and focused on passing knowledge and information, the students themselves will have the freedom to shape their own thoughts on the matters at hand.

Political participation

Lastly, teaching students about politics inevitably leads to some form of political activity on their part. It’s far better to face the issue head-on and talk about political activity and events with everyone involved and in a controlled environment than avoid the subject altogether. Teaching politics is difficult, however – it requires absolute objectivity on the teacher’s part since even the slightest lean towards one side of the argument or another might impede the message you are trying to convey.

Students should be taught about the processes involved in political activity, their benefits, and detriments as well as the possibilities of developing a political career. If any of them decide to go down that route, so be it – your job as a teacher is to inform them of the ramifications and possibilities of such decisions and nothing more.

In Summation

There are too many benefits to teaching politics through actual and controversial examples to simply discard the idea. Make sure to stay within the territories you are comfortable with and sufficiently informed to convey a proper message to the students. Ignoring the matter or refusing to talk about it will only raise concerns with students and shake your authoritarian stance towards them – be the bigger person and face the topic head on.