I helped out with a little debate thing that was happening in the school recently. It was a bit of fun for the most part and reminded me of when I used to do debate with my university students in China, but I did kind of wonder if debates are actually a good idea.
One thing I’ve been trying to work on recently is changing as I get new information. It sounds really obvious, but so few people do it. Most of us just take the ideas that we have all ready and when something comes along to challenge that, we throw up a whole bunch of fortifications built with supporting evidence and gut feelings and argue it out as battle to be won, when we really should be listening to the other side and trying to find out what the truth of things is.
Politics is where you see it most. You’ll have some poor politician stuff towing the party line despite all the evidence going against them, but I’ve noticed it a lot on facebook and other social media recently as well.
Okay so I’m not saying we stop debating in school, but maybe we need to balance it out with more tough arguments where students have to work together to come to a compromise based on evidence rather than just fighting for their side. Maybe that would be a lot more useful.
- B.C. Leadership Debate: Dix and Clark drop the gloves (metronews.ca)
- The Great Book Debate (inteenbookclub.wordpress.com)
- 25 Endless Sports Debates | Bleacher Report (huffingtonpost.com)