Using Debates as the active learning approach, the goal of this activity is to help students understand and argue for the different perspectives or sides of an issue. Students will learn to approach an issue from multiple perspectives and will be able to think critically about arguments from different perspectives.
Within the course, the activity takes place after we have looked at some of the issues and a few different concerns or perspectives involved in these issues. The activity takes a full class session of 1.5 hours to complete. Class starts with an activation activity, to help students quickly review the material and concepts covered by the debates. Then they are broken into two groups and given the debate topic and their side for the debate. They have about 10 minutes to brainstorm arguments for their side. Then we start the debate, and each side presents their arguments in turn. They are then given another 5-10 minutes to brain storm their next round of arguments and rebuttals. They present these rebuttals, then they have one last round of brainstorming, and a final round of arguments.
Once the debate is finished the teacher decides the winner, based on the quality of the arguments and rebuttals. Here the teacher will explain which arguments were good and why, which arguments could have been a bit stronger, and any missing arguments. This allows the teacher to review the arguments and points overall.
Students will be able to:
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