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 - History Education Clearinghouse

Center for Education in Law and Democracy SAC page - with sample linked lessons

Article by David and Roger Johnson on SAC available from Augsburg College

Carleton College's Science Education Resource Center SAC Page

Handout on SAC Structure (with student example handout) From the Northwest Center for Biomedical Research

Sample SAC deliberation rubric

Sample Structured Academic Controversy Lessons

William & Mary Student Portfolios (look for the lesson plans links - they have all done SAC lessons)

Deliberating in a Democracy lessons

John Zola's Teaching Stragegies Site - example of the teacher SAC

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

Rahman Mohammad SAC on the Arizona Immigration Bill

PDF of the Presentation Slides from the Workshop