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Foundation Learning

By offering a broad range of learning experiences along with the Parliamentary Style Debate, students can develop a deeper and richer understanding of decision making, democracy and our system of government.

  • Investigate questions, ‘What do I already know?’ and ‘What do I want to find out?’
  • Explore the following learning experiences:


Students enjoying the Parliamentary style debateOpinions line

Students advocate an opinion and enquire into their own position by listening to the differing opinions of others.

Recommended: Yrs R-12          More >>
 

Students enjoying the parliamentary style debateStructured debate

Students debate and enquire into a point of view through a highly structured process. Students are supported to think critically and creatively within a collaborative team.

Recommended: Yrs 3-12          More >>
 

Students enjoying the parliamentary style debatePersonal values

Students examine the values, beliefs and experiences that have influenced their personal viewpoints.

Recommended: Yrs R-12         More >>



 

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Opinions Line

Context

This process can provide students with opportunities to practise the skills of advocating a point of view and supporting their arguments with reasons/evidence. Through active listening and exploration of differing viewpoints learners are also encouraged to enquire into their own position and may move along the opinions line accordingly.

Process

  • Draw a line on the floor with chalk.
  • Place a card labelled ‘Disagree’ at one end of the line and a card labelled ‘Agree’.
  • Facilitator reads an issue to the group.
  • Students position themselves along the Opinions line.
  • Facilitator selects students at different points along the line to advocate their position, giving reasons for their viewpoint.
  • As students hear the varying opinions of others they are free to move along the line.
  • Prepare issues that are relevant to the context of your students. For example ‘Boys have it easier than girls’, ‘Songs with coarse language should be banned’, ‘Violence on the screen leads to violence in society’.

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Structured Debate

Context

This process can provide students with opportunities to debate and enquire into a point of view through a highly structured process. It supports students to think critically and creatively within a collaborative team.

Process

  • Organise students into groups of four to six.
  • Divide each group into two teams called team A and team B.
  • Share the debate topic with all groups. Team A will be arguing ‘for’ and team B arguing ‘against’.
  • Provide ten minutes for teams to prepare arguments to support their position.
  • Team A advocates their position for five minutes whilst team B listens.
  • Team B refutes team A’s position for five minutes.
  • Team B advocates their position for five minutes whilst team A listens.
  • Team A refutes team B’s position for five minutes.
  • Switch positions. Team B will be arguing ‘for’ and Team A arguing ‘against’. Each team is required to formulate new or extended arguments.
  • Repeat above process.
  • Combine teams A and B to discuss all arguments and work towards a consensus position that integrates the most convincing, persuasive arguments.

It is often helpful for students to have access to a clock, watch or timer and to have a visual copy of the Structured Debate Process, to support them to organise their time.

You may wish to reflect on the process. Consider:

  • How did you feel throughout the process?
  • Was it easy/difficult to advocate from different viewpoints?
  • Has your personal viewpoint changed in any way?
  • What could you see as the benefits of this process?


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Structured Debate Process

Preparation                    10 minutes

Team A presents            5 minutes

Team B refutes               5 minutes

Team B presents            5 minutes

Team A refutes               5 minutes


Preparation                    10 minutes

Team B presents            5 minutes

Team A refutes              5 minutes

Team A presents           5 minutes

Team B refutes              5 minutes


Team A and B create a joint position 10 minutes

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Exploring Personal Values

Context

This process can provide students with opportunities to examine the values, beliefs and experiences that have influenced their personal viewpoints.

Process

  • Select an issue for group and personal exploration.
  • Identify different groups that have had an influence in your life.
  • Reflect on the different influences using the Personal Reflection Tool as provided.
  • Provide time for students to share as they feel comfortable.


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Personal Reflection Tool

Exploring Personal Values

Personal Reflection Tool

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