Simple debate format for middle school, to generate a good debate in the classroom, motivating for students and with appropriate contents, questions, reflections and controversies that arouse the interest and challenge the minds of the students, should be raised. Causing the information itself to be questioned and creating doubts that need to be resolved.
Debating provides multiple benefits in addition to activating commitment and deepening learning. Since the debate requires participants and listeners to evaluate the options presented, it conforms to a type of interaction that contributes to developing superior psychological functions (Vygotsky 1978) as well as critical thinking skills that help Student to scale in the taxonomy of the Bloom (1956).
Students must learn to inform (collect data, transform them and make them reach out to their peers); To interpret (to make one a text of another); To argue (build a reasoning to convince another person) and to persuade.
How do you prepare for a debate class and rules for a debate in the classroom
Moderating a debate involves knowing at what point the people who participate in it should speak and above all, know how to put order in the event that everyone wants to talk at the same time.
Step 1. Preparing students for discussion on a topic
the teacher has to provide an overview of the topic by introducing the more general issues related to the subject matter to discuss and provide a listing with the reference literature, encouraging Students to complement it with their own research. The use of reliable sources is essential in any quality university debate.
Step 2. Deciding the thesis to discuss the thesis must be debatable:
you must be able to find arguments in favor and against. Alternatively, students can be integrated into this initial task, either through informal on-the-spot discussion or by asking them for a brief preliminary written summary of the key issues
Linked to one or more alternative theses, explaining their pros and cons as well as their relevance.
Step 3. Assign the discussion teams the size of the computers:
from 2 to 5. It will depend on the size of the group, the number of topics to be discussed. It is recommended that the teams prepare both arguments for and against, so that a few minutes before the debate is decided by draw which position they will be defending.
Step 4. Guiding team strategy teamwork is key in a debate.
Some possible roles to split between different team members:
- Oral exposure: The team has to agree who will be the speakers who will make the presentation of the team’s argument.
- Rebuttal: They may be the same speakers, or it can be a specific function in the team.
- Questions: A member can engage in asking the questions to the opponents in order to analyze and question the reasoning of the opposing team.
- Summary: A member will take care of the summary and verify that has been answered all the issues raised by each team. You can take the final conclusion.
- Researcher or documentary maker: a member can give support to the rest by keeping all the information necessary for the debate well-kept and accessible.
Step 5. Guiding research and the construction of the argumentation
the task of research is essential to develop competencies such as: teamwork, analysis and synthesis of data and evidence, organization, prioritization of information and other behaviors of critical thinking. To ensure the success of the research, the teacher can assign as previous work to each team the presentation of a brief summary of their main arguments in favor and against the thesis to be discussed. A period of 2 weeks (minimum) is recommended to conduct a good pre-debate investigation.
Step 6. Give clear instructions on the methodology of the debate and the rules to follow
the students must have a very clear outline and very precise instructions on the operation of the discussion process: format chosen, times, shifts, roles, evaluation criteria, Rules, penalties, etc. The teacher will have an active role in coordinating and planning the debate, accentuating the need for required persuasion in a debate. The different formats and times normally used in competitive tournaments are ideal and easily adaptable for classroom use according to the needs and criteria that the teacher establishes.
STEP 7. Classroom preparation
The teams have been spatially arranged so that they are confronted and directed toward the audience and juries. It is very important that the audience clearly identifies who the teams are arguing in favor and against. The watch must be very visible to the debate teams, the jury (professors) and the audience. This aspect can be easily solved by an on-screen projection of an online stopwatch.
Step 8. The competitive debate
It is usually structured by very specific shifts in which each speaker or team of speakers has of a limited time to expose their arguments and refute the opposing arguments. There is a Wide range of debate formats to choose according to the cultural tradition or according to the didactic objectives To be reached.
Step 9. Moderating the debate
moderation is to ensure compliance with established rules, such as intervention times or other more general rules of conduct. It is an opportunity to involve students in tasks such as: controlling time, controlling violations of agreed rules, etc., leaving
So space for the teacher and the jury to concentrate on the content discussed.
Step 10. Defining the role of the audience
the audience can play an active role at some stage in the debate:
- Before: You can collect the votes of the audience before the debate.
- During: Hearing intervention can be allowed in an open phase in which they can ask questions to the teams.
- After: You can pick up the votes of the audience after the debate and compare the impact of the argument before and after the debate. One can also take into account the votes of the hearing in the final verdict. The teacher may assign the hearing to submit an individual written executive summary of the discussions developed, in which each student will identify the main treated arguments, evidence presented, and take a critical position.
STEP 11. Evaluating the process
the evaluation criteria must be very clear before the debate. Possible criteria to be valued:
- Before: Content and organization – quality of the arguments presented, organization of the case and the Argument lines, quality of evidence and sources used, validity of reasoning, Identification of relevant ideas, relevance of arguments for defended position, etc.
- During: Oral exposition-capacity of synthesis and oral expression, capacity of communication and Persuasion, adaptation of auxiliary means used (videos, presentations, transparencies, etc.), Teamwork, language quality, rebuttal ability, question formulation, etc. També Penalties can be defined by: exceeding or not exhausting the time allocated to each shift, not respecting The protected minute, lack with respect to the companions, etc.
- After: Individual written work – (1500 words) executive summary of the research carried out and Post-debate critical positioning.