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Encouraging Classroom Debate

A high school teacher shares advice on guiding classroom conversations about controversial issues

Molly Dill, a twelfth grade economics and government teacher at The Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, Massachusetts, has advice for leading classrooms discussions on controversial topics.

It's important to stay focused on the content, she says. She tells students, there's nothing wrong with expressing emotion — but "let's make sure that it is not anger or sarcasm that is targeted toward the people you are talking to," she says. "And I make sure that students are using evidence."



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