Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Art of Debating

Over the past few weeks, students from the Schermerhorn Program at the New York Institute for Special Education discussed the value of sharing their opinions while respecting and understanding others’ views. Students learned to better appreciate the variety of interpretations for artworks while taking a guided tour at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. They are also currently exploring the diversity of lifestyles and personalities by corresponding with students in other states (see last week post).

On Monday they held a debate at which students teamed up to defend their point of view. Students were instructed to take turns in arguing their viewpoint. While Clyde, William and Davon argued that videogames are a productive activity for young teenagers, Andrea, Vivian and Guiliana gave us reasons to believe that videogames can promote violence.

In the second group, courageous Michael faced the rest of the class and respectfully explained why the TV show “The Simpsons” is better than “Family Guy.“ Everyone on both sides showed great debating skills: they listen to each other, acknowledge other points of view, and built their arguments upon what they heard. Thanks to his skilled explanations, Michael rallied 4 other classmates to his side of the debate!

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