{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Does healthy debate regarding current events have a role in the classroom these days? Is it supported by staff and administration? I teach littles, so we're not ready, but I'm geniunely curious over how interested or non-interested older students are concerning today's topics...", "post_id": "61631136f20fb100382437bd", "reply_count": 9, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

Does healthy debate regarding current events have a role in the classroom these days? Is it supported by staff and administration? I teach littles, so we're not ready, but I'm geniunely curious over how interested or non-interested older students are concerning today's topics...

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I’d say conversations, absolutely! Debate, I’d say no. Kids should feel safe and welcomed in class, and there are so many difficult topics facing them… I wouldn’t want to create more of a divide. Socratic Seminars are a great way to encourage sharing, and if you give the kids an article to annotate beforehand, they have something to reference.

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Hmm, Socratic Seminars, I'm going to check that out- thank you!

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My kids don’t want to talk about current events anymore. They are worn out of it.

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I believe that...

I used to teach debate, so in that classroom, yes. 😉 But you do build to it. It’s not something you throw out on Day 1 unless you have varsity in the class to model it. You have to teach the students how to separate themselves from their ideas. You have to teach them to argue policy rather than personality. You have to force them to switch sides mid-debate and find the logic and warrants underlying all sides. Before you turn them loose in a real debate, they need to know both sides and be able to debate either side. It keeps it from getting personal. And if you keep it academic rather than personal, the high school students can come up with some amazing arguments. I was constantly impressed with what they learned and what they brought to the table.

likehelpful

Very smart strategies...thank you for scaffolding them with learning experiences which I'm sure still benefit them today!

During the last presidential campaigns and election, my students (3-5 grade self-contained VE) wanted to bash the candidates—- obviously repeating what was said at home. I tactfully explained that it’s okay to have an opinion, that’s why there are 2 candidates. We may not like who is the new president, but we will respect the office.

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