Tuesday Teaching Tip: Use a Forced Debate to Stretch Thinking

Tuesdays on the blog are always about providing you with another teaching tip. Today’s tip has to do with “forcing” your group members into a debate. There are a couple of ways to go about this:

  1. If you have an even number of people in your group, pair them up. Each person will defend a particular point of view you assign to them. Line your group members up facing one another. Let each person speak only once…they have to say all they want to at one time (this will put some pressure on them to think through the issue and how they will defend their assigned position).
  2. Divide your group in half. If your group does not have an even number of people, or if you just want to do something different, assign one position to half the group and the opposing position to the other half of the group. Allow the two groups to work collaboratively for a few minutes to develop arguments for their position, and arguments against the other team’s position.

This activity appeals to several different learning styles at the same time! Physical learners will appreciate getting up and moving around. Reflective learners will be thankful they are doing some critical thinking. Relational learners will thank you for allowing group work to take place. Logical learners will lead the way in developing pro/con positions.


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