What should school children be taught about Islam, the Confederacy and other topics that are sensitive to some in our society? NPT Reports looks at how curriculum standards are set in Tennessee and why state officials are implementing new procedures to address public concerns.
Teaching Tough Topics
In Mississippi, the Civil War still stirs emotions. It’s not so much that teachers disagree on how it should be taught, but that ongoing attempts by the University of Mississippi and several cities across the South to shed Confederate symbols have called up old ghosts.
What should school children be taught about Islam? In Florida and North Carolina, parents claim students are being “indoctrinated” with a sanitized version of the Muslim faith. One of the fiercest fights so far is happening right now in Tennessee. As Chas Sisk of WPLN reports, it could reveal the playbook for future battles.
Teaching subjects that trigger strong emotions and political divides is challenging. In the South, many of those fault-lines — racial, religious and otherwise — are intimately tied to its history. This week the Southern Education Desk is exploring how teachers tackle tough topics. Our Alabama reporter starts with an overview of some the major challenges, and some of the ways teachers can get around them. Please note this report contains language some might find offensive.