A problem. Conflicting definitions, facts, assumptions, opinions, solutions. Competing feelings and values. Public debate and action. In short, controversy.
A good citizen questions, informs himself or herself, thinks issues through, reaches conclusions, and participates in public life. A good teacher helps students to understand that controversy is the lifeblood of democracy, to learn how to inquire into past and current controversial issues that are meaningful to them, and to participate in public life.
By Alan Shapiro