Preparing Teachers to Teach Controversial Issues: A Cross-National Study

Principal Investigator: Judith Pace | School of Education | University of San Francisco


This cross-national qualitative study examines teacher educators’ efforts to prepare their students to teach controversial issues in secondary history/social studies classes. Democratic societies worldwide face intractable social and political problems and legacies of conflict. Preparing teachers to teach young people how to analyze and deliberate controversial issues is fundamental to developing members of a multicultural democracy able to address these challenges and work towards peace. Most existing teacher education programs fail to do this. Judith Pace will conduct research in Northern Ireland, England, and South Africa to investigate these questions 1) How do teacher educators prepare their students to teach controversial issues? What practices do they teach and what pedagogies do they use? 2) How do students of teaching respond? Which practices do they take up and why? 3) How do individual, cultural, sociopolitical, and institutional factors influence teacher educators’ approaches and their students’ responses? This study will generate knowledge for strengthening teacher development and education for democracy and peace building.,

Grant Type:

Small Grant

Grant Amount:




Research Area:

Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Resources

Topic / Subject:

Teacher Education/Development, Social Studies Education/Civics, Other

Methods / Approach:

Case Studies, Interviews, Observational research

Disciplinary Perspective:

Political Science, PsychologySocial, PsychologyCultural, Sociolinguistics, Sociology, Education, Other