Addressing Controversy in the Classroom: Teaching about Immigrant Rights in Chicago Schools GCP-07-07

Irma M. Olmedo
Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

This article examines the issue of teachers’ decisions to address controversial issues as teaching opportunities in the classroom, using the recent immigrant rights mobilizations of 2006.  As public reports of planned deportations of the undocumented were heard, especially in communities in urban areas with high proportions of these populations, many families were gripped with fear about their status.  This research involved exploring the classroom-based activities of Chicago teachers to engage their students in inquiry on these issues, and the participation and perspectives of children that resulted from these activities.

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