Critical Thinking and Social Issues


A problem or matter of concern: The budget deficit, drug addiction and gun violence are all issues.

A subject that causes controversy or a disagreement: The debate over the death penalty is always an issue.

Whether they’re a result of conflicting beliefs, long-standing conflicts or even the environment, social issues are topics that affect people globally. Addressing them often requires compromise and the ability to see things from different perspectives. These topics also offer excellent research opportunities and teach students essential critical thinking skills.

When asked to consider the biggest problems facing the country today, majorities of Americans say inflation, the affordability of health care and drug abuse are their top concerns. The country’s moral values, illegal immigration and climate change are seen as lesser problems, in part because of stark partisan differences about their significance.

While there is enough fresh water to sustain every person on the planet, about two billion lack access to safe drinking and sanitation. This problem is caused by a variety of factors, including poor infrastructure, displacement and conflict. It is one of the most pressing global challenges, as it undermines efforts to end poverty, tackle climate change and improve healthcare and education for all. Corruption is a key barrier to tackling these issues, and better accountability systems are needed.