Author(s): Sedat YAZICI, Fadime SE├çG?N
This study examines the place of controversial issues in education within the context of primary, secondary and high school teacher candidates in Turkey. Two features of controversial issues make them important to educational studies. One is the fact that such issues somehow take part in class discussions by teachers and students; another is the idea that teaching controversial issues themselves is an educational objective. The aim of the study was to identify major controversial issues, examine the perceptions, tendencies and ideas of social studies and social sciences teacher candidates with respect to appropriateness of these issues for class discussions; educational objectives of teaching controversial issues; proper teaching methods and techniques; perceived barriers in teaching such issues. We found that the participants assign high educational value in teaching such issues, mostly in terms of thinking skills and civic efficiencies. We also found that, compared to high school teacher candidates, primary and secondary school teacher candidates were more positive, and they prefer more student-centered methods and techniques. The perceived barrier and anxiety level of female participants were found higher than that of male participants.