New AllSides for Schools Series, Elections and Relationships, Helps Controversy and Civility Effectively Coexist in Classrooms Across the U.S.

Share Article

Program Debuts as part of The Christian Science Monitor’s series “The Politics of US”

AllSides for Schools

We all need to know how to talk and listen to each other, especially when we disagree, and cultivating this skill in the classroom can make a huge difference.

AllSides for Schools today announced its “Elections and Relationships” series of school programs, lesson plans and online tools. Launching through teachers in 25 states and nationally as part of The Christian Science Monitor’s weekly series, “The Politics of US,” the new AllSides for Schools program provides teachers and students a safe, productive way to discuss and examine the election and even the most controversial issues.

"We are challenging our readers to deepen their understanding of issues, and their respect for those with differing views," said Mark Sappenfield of The Christian Science Monitor. "The AllSides for Schools program along with their other bridge building services turns this into an active experience -- in the classroom, in the living room and online."

Teachers don’t want to hurt feelings or create divisions in their classroom, nor do they want to be seen as indoctrinating kids to believe in one thing. But they do want to teach kids how to examine and discuss controversial issues.

The AllSides for Schools program makes that possible. It starts with a module called “Relationships Matter” that introduces students to civil dialog and appreciating each other even when we are different or disagree. It then provides online tools and discussion guides along with background materials and current news from multiple perspectives so that students are not blinded by just one point of view. The AllSides patented bias rating system insures that each topic is covered from across the political spectrum.

Teachers can pick and choose from a variety of modules, lesson plans and online tools to fit into their own curriculum.

Still, in the current environment of bias, misinformation and polarization, such civil conversation and appreciation for different perspectives often seems impossible.

“Talking politics means expressing differences and that often involves taking sides– which can be dangerous to our personal and professional relationships,” said John Gable, CEO of “In today’s educational landscape, where critical thinking skills are increasingly important, escaping controversy is a mistake. We all need to know how to talk and listen to each other, especially when we disagree, and cultivating this skill in the classroom can make a huge difference.”

“Effective communication and problem solving relies on both intellectual and emotional awareness, the heart and the mind,” said Joan Blades, co-founder of Living Room Conversations, Mom’s Rising and Living Room Conversations and AllSides partner to provide the AllSides for Schools non-profit program.

“The tools and multiple perspectives on AllSides provide a much needed view on the different narratives we are living in, while the structured conversations and relationship building of Living Room Conversations allow people to hear each other,” added Blades. “Together, we can show everyone, from this generation to the next, how to reach beyond our differences and benefit from everyone’s best ideas.”

Some teachers have already been using many of these tools and programs.

After discussing the Living Room Conversation guidelines, the student body leaders "adopted the language of 'the deep conversation' in their announcements to the students,” said Joyce Sherry, Dean of Students at the York School in Monterey, California. “The response to me directly from both students and faculty has been very, very positive.”

Kristin Montville of Rising Tide Charter School in Plymouth, Massachusetts has been using for two years, even before there was a formal AllSides for Schools program. “We look at media bias, personal bias, and cognitive bias – we use the news page to analyze different news sources’ reporting of the same issues.”

“As an 8th grade humanities teacher, a lot of my energy is spent on getting my students to talk to each other – each student has his/her own learning style and comfort when it comes to sharing ideas, and I am always looking for new ways for students to ‘talk’,” said Emma Peat at the Live Oak School in San Francisco. The AllSides Consider-It online tool “has been an exciting addition to our classroom.”

About AllSides for Schools
AllSides for Schools is a non-profit program provided by Living Room Conversations and AllSides. AllSides provides its patented technologies, proprietary platform and multi-partisan services while Living Room Conversations provides its open-source materials and programs for revitalizing discourse.

This program was created through a seemingly unlikely partnership from opposite sides of the aisle. Joan Blades of Living Room Conversations previously co-founded Mom’s Rising and the progressive John Gable of AllSides previously worked for both President Bushes and three Republican U.S. Senators who became Majority Leaders.Their diverse careers also strengthen the partnership. While Blades is a trained attorney/mediator and author, Gable is a technology executive and entrepreneur coming from the original teams for Microsoft Office, Mozilla at Netscape, Kavi Corp and ZoneAlarm at Check Point Software.

About AllSides
AllSides is a media technology company that helps you see, understand and discuss multiple perspectives. The patented crowd-driven technologies at provide bias ratings, news, issues, search and civil dialogs that reveal a wide variety of perspectives and build bridges between conflicting ideas and people.It services educators, media companies and direct users at

About Living Room Conversations
Living Room Conversations explore the power of revitalized civil discourse in America. They are a platform for people with diverse viewpoints to come together to engage in self-guided conversations. These conversations foster new relationships and often reveal common ground. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Andrea Corry
TopMind PR
(925) 640-5482

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Andrea Corry
TopMind PR
+1 (925) 640-5482
Email >
Visit website