Using Structured Controversy to Teach Diversity Content and Cultural Competence
Journal of Teaching in Social Work
Structured controversy is one type of cooperative learning strategy. It involves students in researching positions on topics and then debating each other. A unique aspect of this strategy is that students then reverse sides and argue the other position. This paper discusses the use of the structuredcontroversy process to teach diversity content in the classroom. It addresses the advantages and barriers to using structured controversy, and identifies ways in which structured controversy can be used in the social work curriculum to teach cultural competence. The article also reports on an evaluation of the structured controversy process that was used in BSW and MSW classrooms. The findings from this evaluation suggest thatstructured controversy is an extremely useful technique for teaching diversity and cultural competence. The vast majority of students reported increased knowledge about and sensitivity to the concerns of people from diverse backgrounds.
Steiner, S., Brzuzy, S., Gerdes, K., & Hurdle, D. (2003). Using structured controversy to teach diversity content and cultural competence. Journal Of Teaching In Social Work, 23(1/2), 55-72.
Brzuzy, S.; Steiner, S.; Gerdes, K.; and Hurdle, K., "Using Structured Controversy to Teach Diversity Content and Cultural Competence" (2003). Faculty Scholarship. Paper 48.