Montessori Meeting

Thursday 7 September 2023, 4 pm - 5 pm
Should we be 'teaching the controversy' in school?
Michael S. Merry

Please join us on Thursday September 7th, from 16.00 to 17.00 in MM01.069 for a discussion on teaching controversy in school, led by prof Michael Merry. 

Nowadays a growing number of philosophers of education plead for 'teaching the controversy' in school. The motivation behind this idea appears to be an extension of the civic aim of education, i.e., that young people should learn to engage with others whose experiences, beliefs and ideas are different from one's own, where 'controversy' implies topics concerning which divergent views can be espoused by reasonable persons, where 'engage' entails listening, learning and deliberating with others in what many feel is an increasingly fraught political climate, and where the stakeholders include not only students and teachers, but also parents and society at large. In this interactive talk, participants will be invited to think through the aims of education, the nature of controversy, and both the philosophical and logistical challenges of this endeavor.

For a concrete illustration of some of his previous work on this topic, you can find an ethical analysis regarding controversial historical monuments here

We look forward seeing you there! 

About the author

Michael S. Merry is professor in the department of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam.

Though he writes on a wide variety of topics, and often through a comparative-international frame, he specialises in any of the following: the various features of educational inequality, both institutional and non-institutional; state paternalism and the ethics of intervention; the politics and epistemology of academic research; the ethics of school choice and school segregation, citizenship and civic education, religion and religious schools, and alternative education in its manifold forms.

In addition to scholarship, he frequently contributes to societal debates in Dutch and international media.

Recent examples include: