The Techniques to Make Debate A College-Readiness Tool

The Techniques to Make Debate A College-Readiness Tool
Student debate engages students in relevant learning and encourages them to be deep thinkers. It is more than just arguing. It has a defined structure and rules to keep both sides calm while moving on to their opinions. When done with a little bit of anticipation, classroom debates can engage even the most introvert students that normally don’t like to participate in class discussions or other activities.

Now the question is: What should be debate strategy?

Here we outline 5 of the most useful techniques that you can employ in debates to encourage student participation and make debate a college-readiness tool.

Technique 1: Four Corners

It is one of the most effective debate mixers. In this technique, the teacher writes a topic on the board and designates different position relative to that topic to each corner of the room. Thereafter, students choose to stand in the corner that exactly reflects their personal opinion on that subject. After selection of corners has been done, teacher gives the students five to ten minutes to prepare their discussion platform to support their opinion. The debate begins with each team presenting their opening argument; then subsequently moving on to the evidence and rebuttals and closing arguments.

Technique 2: Partner

This technique is really helpful to prepare students with shy nature. Such students perform better with single partner rather than a whole group. The process remains the same as the four corner technique, but the debate is held between two people and not the whole class.

Technique 3: Devil’s Advocate

It adds a twist in the whole debate process. Instead of supporting their own opinion, students also try to throw kinks into their supporting argument. In sense, they don’t just give ‘pros’ to their argument, they prepare for “cons” too.  

Technique 4: Worst-Case Scenario

This is yet another powerful technique to prepare students for debate. In this technique, students don’t just prepare to support their position, they look into the future as well to find the worst possible thing that could happen as a consequence of the opposing argument and prepare their defense for that.

Technique 5: Glass Half Empty or Full

This technique helps students to view a situation from different perspectives and prepare arguments for each. Students look at their opinion both from a positive and pessimistic point of view.

These are just some of the ideas on how to make debates interesting and challenging in classroom environment. Hope it helps!