ERIC Number: ED409828
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Controversy. Enriching College Instruction through Intellectual Conflict. ERIC Digest.
Johnson, David, W.; And Others
This digest summarizes a larger document of the same title which takes the position that because American democracy is founded on the premise that citizens need to engage in free and open discussion of opposing points of view, it is important that intellectual conflict become part of college instruction. It suggests several ways in which structured academic controversy and intellectual conflict can be used to enrich classroom instruction at colleges and universities. Five steps are proposed as a way to create an academic experience that will result in increased achievement and retention, better problem-solving and decision-making skills, positive interpersonal relationships, and greater social competence and self-esteem. The steps are: first, pairs of students are assigned to research and prepare an assigned issue; second, they present the best case possible; then, opposing pairs engage in open discussion, advocating their initial position while learning the opposing one; next, students reverse perspective to present the opposing position; and, finally, students integrate different ideas and facts into a single position. The instructor sets objectives for learning and social skills, monitors the student debate, and evaluates academic achievement. (CH)
Descriptors: Academic Discourse, College Instruction, Colleges, Conflict Resolution, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Course Content, Creative Development, Critical Thinking, Debate, Debate Format, Educational Strategies, Higher Education, Instructional Innovation, Instructional Materials, Intellectual Development, Persuasive Discourse, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods, Universities, Verbal Communication
ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports, The George Washington University, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183 ($1).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Opinion Papers; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, DC.; George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Graduate School of Education and Human Development.