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ERIC Number: EJ815698
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Let's Debate: Active Learning Encourages Student Participation and Critical Thinking
Oros, Andrew L.
Journal of Political Science Education, v3 n3 p293-311 Sep 2007
Structured classroom debates (SCDs), whereby teams of students debate a question prepared outside of class, help advance two goals many political science instructors struggle to achieve with their students: classroom participation beyond the "usual suspects" present in every classroom and critical thinking and analysis of political issues. This article explains the methods used by the author and several colleagues to introduce SCDs into multiple types of political science courses based on the author's extensive experience with conducting such debates in a wide range of classes, and the contributions such an approach has demonstrated on student understanding and communication of political issues. Topics addressed include differences in debate format and preparation for different class levels and sizes; how to accommodate students of different abilities through effective team and role management; grading options/methods of evaluation; and approaches to engaging the entire classroom in this active learning exercise. Evaluation of the merits of the approach also is provided based on a systematic analysis of student course evaluations and on comparative observations of the author and other instructors who have employed the approach. (Contains 5 tables and 17 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A