Classrooms Matter: Understanding The Curricular Choices Of Teachers Involving Controversial Topics in Middle School Civics Classrooms




Mitchell, Tiffany

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This study analyzed the embedded messages within a state mandated and locally designed middle school civics curriculum and highlights the curricular choices of civics teachers regarding discussions with diverse viewpoints and/or controversial topics in middle school classrooms. This qualitative study utilized ethnographic content analysis to examine a state and local middle school civics curricula and teacher provided artifacts. In addition, semi structured interviews with six middle school civics teachers in Carter school district were conducted to gain insight on curricular implementation. This study extends research in the field with an analysis of middle school civics curricula through the five tenets of CRT in education framework. In addition, sense making theoretical framework was employed to elevate the voices of teachers in the literature on their instructional practices involving discussions with diverse viewpoints and/or controversial topics. By situating this research in middle school classrooms this study provides insight on how democracy is cultivated in early adolescence.



Multicultural education, Education policy, Civics Education, Controversial Topics, Critical Race Theory, Curricular Choice, Discussion, Middle School