Teacher as Stranger: “Releasing” Imagination for Teaching Controversial Public Issues

Yu-Han Hung


This study utilized the term "teacher as stranger" from Maxine Greene's (1973) Teacher as Stranger to explore how teachers teach contemporary controversial public issues in Taiwan (e.g., national identity, sovereignty, and ethnic issues). Using a case study design, this study documents how six social studies teachers make curricular decisions about teaching controversial public issues and create possibility for their students to imaginatively engage controversial public issues. Findings illuminate that teachers challenge the stereotype of Asian teachers as always following centralized curriculum; these teachers instead collaborate authentic curricular resources and decenter the exam-centric and curriculum-centric classroom space. In sum, this study, refracted through the national context of Taiwan, helps us understand the possibility of Taiwanese teachers’ curricular-instructional decisions and increased autonomy and authority. 


Teacher as Stranger, Imaginative Engagement, Controversial Public Issues, Taiwanese History Curriculum, Curricular-Instructional Decision, Controversial Issues Teaching

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