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Teaching and Learning Resources – Selecting Appropriate Materials

Controversial topics

Controversial topics will often be appropriate and important subjects of study in schools and, at times, cannot be avoided in the context of teaching and learning.

However, the contexts of controversial topics or themes about which objections can be anticipated include:

  • themes related to magic or fantasy
  • racial and religious themes
  • sexual activity, nudity and related themes
  • drug misuse or addiction
  • gambling and fraudulent activities
  • crime, violence or cruelty
  • suicide and excessively bleak scenarios
  • the depiction of revolting or abhorrent phenomena
  • satirical or comparative perspectives on race, religion or gender.

If objections are raised in relation to controversial topics, they should be managed in accordance with the Resolving issues concerning objections to teaching and learning resources section of these guidelines.

Guidance chapter on the use of controversial topics for teaching and learning and the types of topics about which objections can be anticipated

Reviewed 29 August 2023

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