Structured Academic Controversy

What is Structured Academic Controversy?


The Structured Academic Controversy instructional model was originally developed by Roger and David Johnson of the University of Minnesota. It is a model for deliberating controversial issues that also focuses on student development of skills such as identifying and presenting persuasive evidence, critical listening, and consensus building. The model engages students in learning both sides of an issue in an environment that promotes understanding and consensus building over competition. It is a great model for middle and high school students to build skills and confidence in deliberating issues.

Structured Academic Controversy Resources


SAC page from Teachinghistory.org - History Education Clearinghouse
http://teachinghistory.org/teaching-materials/teaching-guides/21731

Center for Education in Law and Democracy SAC page - with sample linked lessons
http://www.lawanddemocracy.org/discussionsac.html

Article by David and Roger Johnson on SAC available from Augsburg College
www.augsburg.edu/home/education/edc490/downloads/Critical_Thinking_through_Structured_Controversy.pdf

Carleton College's Science Education Resource Center SAC Page
http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/sac/index.html

Handout on SAC Structure (with student example handout) From the Northwest Center for Biomedical Research
www.nwabr.org/education/pdfs/PRIMER/PrimerPieces/SAC.pdf

Sample SAC deliberation rubric
http://documents.mccormickfoundation.org/Civics/programs/files/pdf/FASI-Sum2011/ControversyRubric.pdf

Sample Structured Academic Controversy Lessons


William & Mary Student Portfolios (look for the lesson plans links - they have all done SAC lessons)
http://social-studies.wmwikis.net/Student+Program+Portfolios

Deliberating in a Democracy lessons
http://www.did.deliberating.org/lessons/index.html

John Zola's Teaching Stragegies Site - example of the teacher SAC
http://johnzola.com/JohnZola.com/Teaching_Strategies.html

Project CIvis "Was reconstruction successful?" SAC Lesson Plan and Handouts

Rahman Mohammad SAC on the Arizona Immigration Bill
http://mohammadrahman.wmwikis.net/Lesson+Plans

PDF of the Presentation Slides from the Workshop