Mr. Jake Miller teaches 7th grade American history teacher near Harrisburg, PA.
When bringing debate to the classroom, make sure that you teach students the following:
- Disagree with ideas and not people. Decorum is a crucial component of debate. Far too many TV talking heads needs this lesson.
- Have students state the positives of their argument first.
- Then have students attack one position at a time. It’ll be easier for them to track and helps keep the “defensive” group in defensive mode.
- When they’ve exhausted their thoughts on that topic, punt and change sides. Put someone else on the defensive.
- At the end, have students re-state a positive. End on a good note. Have them shake hands.
Debate is something that can be implemented in any class. While it certainly speaks well to the liberal arts (think English / Language Arts, painting class, social studies), it’s very much applicable to STEM.
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