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Navigating Contentious Topics with Learner-Generated Podcasts

In our polarized political climate, fuelled by dissension, misinformation, and echo chambers, there is no shortage of contentious issues. By “contentious,” we use Zimmerman and Robertson’s (2017) definition: an issue is contentious if it is (1) debatable and inconclusive among experts and (2) deeply important to members of the general public. Educators have the unique privilege and responsibility to ensure students are equipped to engage with these contentious topics. Many of these topics—cultural appropriation, prison reform, and systemic gender, race, and class biases—are culturally relevant and deeply meaningful to our students’ civic and professional lives. 

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