Constructive Controversy Teaching Method


  • Matt Spindler Penn State


constructive controversy, cooperative learning, teaching method, teaching strategy


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Johnson, D.W., & Johnson, R. (2007). Creative controversy: Intellectual conflict in the classroom. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2014). Constructive controversy as a means of teaching citizens how to engage in political discourse. Policy Futures in Education, 12(3), 417- 430.

Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Smith, K. (2014). Cooperative learning: Improving university instruction by basing practice on validated theory. In Davidson, N., Major, C., & Michaelsen, L (Eds.), Small-group learning in higher education: Cooperative, collaborative, problem-based and team-based learning. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(4), 85-118.

O’Neill, T.A., Hoffart, G.C., McLarnon, M., Woodley, H.J., Eggermont, M., Rosehart, W., and Brennan, R. (2017). Constructive controversy and reflexivity training promotes effective conflict profiles and team functioning in student learning teams. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 16(2), 257-276.

O’Neill, T.A., Hancock, S., McLarnon, M.J., & Holland, T. (2019). When the SUIT fits: Constructive controversy training in face-to-face and virtual teams. Journal of Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 13(1), 44-59.

Ou, Z., Chen, T., Li, F., and Tang. P. (2018). Constructive controversy and creative process engagement. The roles of positive conflict value, cognitive flexibility, and psychological safety. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 48(2) 101-113.




How to Cite

Matt Spindler. (2023). Constructive Controversy Teaching Method. NACTA Journal, 67(TT). Retrieved from