Classroom tools : Why should you have Classroom Debates?
A Classroom debate in necessary for students to be confident in expressing their opinion. In this world and time, one should not be afraid to share their point of views, at least in front of their class fellows. This can only be encouraged when they have a habit of speaking about issues or topics related to their course syllabus. Teachers should also motivate students to be fearless and express their opinion, but in a healthy way.
Things to make sure in a classroom debate.
Well Informed: Before you ask students to start a conversation, make sure they are well informed on the topic. They should have studied their textbooks and researched with the resources available. For example, if the class is having a political debate, the students should be well informed about the major candidates involved and their manifestoes.
Opinion: The students should know that it is alright if they haven’t formed an opinion yet. They should not be afraid to speak up about what they think on the topic. Also, it is alright if you agree with an opponent’s opinion. It is alright to struggle.
Intervene: The teacher should listen to everyone’s point of view, but should step in if students are getting aggressive or getting off the track. But do not interrupt too much. Let them lead the conversation.
Being Emotional: The students should know that there is nothing wrong with being emotional or feel strongly about your opinion. But let it not be anger or sarcasm that we are directing towards fellow students.
Evidence: Make sure that students back up their points with an proof. If someone says they disagree, ask them why do they disagree with it. They should be able to give a reason.
This article has been inspired by the interview of Molly Dill, Economics and Government Teacher at Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, Massachusetts. Watch the original video here.