History and Government: How does debating aid the teaching process?

CHAPTER TWO

2e iii). Explain the efficacy of debating in the teaching processs

Debates

The most formal of all discussion techniques is the debate. It requires learners to hold formal argument on a given issue.  It is an important technique in history teaching and learning because it enables participants to see the other side of an issue in order to meet the arguments of their opponents; clarifies the controversy at stake and prepares the learners for future roles in the society, e.g. being politicians and lawyers.

Despite its usefulness, this approach has a number of limitations such as the following:

  • It tends to involve too few students thus denying others a chance to participate,
  • It creates bitter/unpleasant feelings towards opponents when they strongly disagree over a controversial issue.
  • It discourages learners who are not good at expressing themselves from participating in the debate.
  • It gives a chance for good speakers to show off and this creates pride which is undesirable.
  • Sometimes it prejudices learners against some fields/careers after learning about their weaknesses through views expressed during debates.
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