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Women, Webquests, and Controversial Issues in the Social Studies


Social Education Volume 69, Number 3, ISSN 0037-7724


America has been called "the argument culture," but you would not know it from many social studies classrooms. Despite a longstanding tradition in social studies of teaching controversial issues, all too few of today's classrooms accommodate this kind of intellectual activity. Perhaps it is the pressure of high stakes testing, or the emphasis on teaching history--often done in a transmission, or didactic mode--or a reluctance to bring up polarizing topics in the currently politicized school climate. Whatever the reason, young people today may graduate from high school having had little chance to debate or otherwise discuss contemporary controversial issues. This is a missed opportunity on more than one account. Research has shown such academic endeavors to be highly motivating for adolescents in making judgments and forming their own opinions about adult topics. This article considers WebQuests, included in the Women of the World course since 2002. WebQuests are well suited to teaching controversial issues, particularly contemporary controversial issues, for which data and other timely resources are likely to be published on the internet. WebQuests can bring together important elements of some much touted approaches to teaching and learning, including critical thinking, cooperative learning, authentic assessment, and technology integration.


Crocco, M.S. & Cramer, J. (2005). Women, Webquests, and Controversial Issues in the Social Studies. Social Education, 69(3),. Retrieved March 8, 2021 from .

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