A Debatable Debate
The structured debate you've always wanted to try.
2. Give the subject of the debate with a question framing the debate. Again our subject is 'tablet vs textbook' in education with the question, "Should Tables Replace Textbooks in K-12 Schools?"
3. Give the students a 5-10 minutes to look over their notes or if you are using this as an introduction you may want to direct the students to a specific source such as http://tablets-textbooks.procon.org/.
4. Then assign each side either pro or con. (In our case yes or no).
5. Instruct the students on the process and rules as follows:
- One side, row 1 will go first. Each person will make a statement supporting their side. (I let the opposing side take notes and have their iPad open but no one is allowed to have their iPad's open.)
- Only the person holding "Rafiki's Stick" may speak. When he/she is finished they will pass "Rafiki's Stick". (After everyone has a turn any person in the row can ask for Rafiki's stick to add to the conversation.)
- Then the other side, row 1 will take their turn. This ends the turn for the front rows.
- At this point I let the back rows get organized for their rebuttal.
- Then we go back to the original side and Row 2 will rebuttal what was said by the other side's first row. Same rules with Rafiki's stick. They must rebuttal and rebuttal only, not bringing any new evidence.
- Then we go to the final back row who will rebuttal the other side.
- All this is confusing but makes sense once you see it in action .