Help pupils to discuss the issues

7th July 2006 at 01:00
How should teachers discuss the July 7 bombings with pupils?

Richard Baker is a curriculum adviser to Oxfam and author of a new free pamphlet, Teaching Controversial Issues.

"The anniversary raises two different types of challenge in the classroom: handling the emotionally sensitive nature of the event, the suffering experienced by people as a result of the bombings, and tackling the wider controversial issues. These might include the War on Terror, the disaffection of some young Muslim people and civil liberties.

"Teachers may find these issues daunting, but pupils will be exposed to them in any community and schools provide a safe space to discuss them.

"The prominent newspaper coverage of today's anniversary could provide a starting point for media literacy exercises, in which pupils discuss what is fact and what is opinion and what emotive words are used."

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