School of Education News

UW-Madison's McAvoy quoted in Associated Press report on teaching about politics

March 20, 2017

UW-Madison's Paula McAvoy was quoted in a report from the Associated Press on the topic of teachers sharing their own personal political viewpoints. 

Paula McAvoy
McAvoy
McAvoy is currently the program director of the Center for Ethics and Education. She also is an alumna of the School of Education, having earned her doctorate in philosophy of education from UW-Madison's Department of Educational Policy Studies. McAvoy and School of Education Dean Diana Hess co-authored the award-winning publication, “The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education.”

The Associated Press reports that in the current political climate, more students than ever are talking about issues like racial justice, immigration and transgender rights, and many students turn to their teachers to ask them what they think. Teachers then face the pressure of whether or not to share their personal political views.

"There's a general belief in the public that teachers shouldn't be using their classroom as a soapbox but there's a ton of variation on what's allowed and what's not allowed," McAvoy told the Associated Press. 

McAvoy says teachers should not shy away from political discussion in the classroom, because schools should act as a space for students to challenge ideas and consider different viewpoints while developing their personal beliefs.


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