By Lori Ingersoll
This unit will focus on both the history and significance of debate as a communication tool utilized to resolve conflict and discover truth. By addressing the prevalence of controversy in everyday life, students will consider the various actions that individuals and groups employ in an effort to advocate change and call for justice. As these actions are examined, students will focus on the role of communication in controversial issues, both past and present. (i.e. civil rights, human rights, connections to personal life) With the foundational knowledge of communication as a key element to resolve conflict and discover truth, the focus will then shift to the role of debate specifically as a tool to provide citizens with necessary information to make well-informed decisions by concentrating on forms of debate in society, particularly debate as a competitive event. Special emphasis will be placed on the evolution of communication and debate as our society changes. Students will conclude the unit with a performance task that will ask them to engage in a modern day competitive form of debate (public forum) to discuss resolutions that will press students to advocate or oppose the importance of debate in school, in history and in society.
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