EC Project Number: 2021-1-IT02-KA210-ADU-000034903
Project title: DEBATECH
Coordinator Organisation Legal Name: APS Brainery Academy
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“The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein”
Individuals shape their skills, knowledge, attitudes and values with what they learn and experience from their environment, social media, daily practices, and educational processes. They constantly transfer to one another, They listen to what the other says, watch what they do, and evaluate. They read, they watch, they listen, they do. they form. They are in a constant state of acquisition. They build the future by transferring the accumulation of the past to the present. They have been trying to understand, interpret and talk since ancient Greek civilizations. This effort to speak, to commemorate, in a sense, constitutes civilization. This effort to interpret and understand involves discussion. It includes listening to the other. It involves persuading. All this demonstrates the importance of discussion. Especially today, with the development of technology, face-to-face discussions have been moved to virtual environments. Being a digital world citizen requires active participation. and active participation requires talking, listening and discussing.
Debate and Digital Citizenship: Debatech
It would not be an exaggeration to say that debate plays a leading role in reaching the point where humanity has come. Debate has been key to innovation and development since the Socratic method.
Debate; It is the comparison of thoughts, assumptions and results. It can help us find the way to creativity by helping us understand different points of view. Also It is an effective training method that will enable them to internalize issues such as gender equality, human dignity, freedom, democracy, rule of law, justice, solidarity. because debater will look for ways to prove the thought that one does not believe. The role of the debate in shaping and exercising “human” rights has contributed to different fields for centuries. The eighteenth century was the century of civil rights. The nineteenth century was the century of political rights and the twentieth century is the century of social rights (Marshall 1950).
The Socratic method is a sharing through questioning on a democratic basis over a horizontal relationship as in discussion. It enables the process to reveal the values and beliefs that frame and support the thoughts and expressions of those involved (Vlastos, 1995).
Debate also helps to sharpen our cognitive skills. Debate allows us to structure our arguments so that we can provide cogent answers to the opposing view. Debate also helps to develop listening skills. One cannot debate without fully understanding the opposing view. A full rebuttal in a debate can only come if one is able to understand the opposing view and deliver a counter-argument that is convincing and defeats the opponent’s argument (Hassan, 2020)
Debate improves critical thinking more effectively than almost any other activity. In a sense, what people mean when they say “critical thinking” is really debate. After all, critical thinking means the ability to analyze a situation and decide how best to judge it. This is, literally, what debate teaches you to do (Bellon and Williams 2008).
Debate is also an excellent activity for learning because it engages students/trainees in a variety of cognitive and linguistic ways. In addition to providing meaningful listening, speaking and writing practice, debate is also highly effective for developing argumentation skills for persuasive speech and writing (Krieger, 2005).
In our age, digital transformation is experienced in education as in every field. Especially considering the pandemic conditions, the importance of digital citizenship skills increases. At this point, it is a necessity of today to transfer the discussion to the digital environment as a method.
“Becoming” and “belonging” and the “capabilities” are essential to digital citizenship (Pedersen, Nørgaard, & Köppe, 2018):
- Capability: Each individual has different characteristics and interests. Digital media should be rights based to include all of these interests and features.
- Becoming: Being is the point where a person differs from other living things on an existential basis. Every individual strives to be at work in society, in the family, in the classroom. Digital environments should support this mandate in each individual’s effort to be one, someone, somebody
- Belonging is productive to think in terms of difference. In today’s world where different cultures, different individuals, different communities live together, turning these differences into richness should be one of the main goals of education. Digital environments offer opportunities for each of these differences to take place.
The way each individual contributes to the other and herself/himself on the basis of difference is through authenticity. Authenticity is a process that makes essential a relationship between the person and others based on transparency which leaves no room for doubt for everyone about who they are and what they believe in, that comes insight based on the argument of “a person knowing him/herself” and that is fed from this argument (Eriksen, 2009). Authenticity fosters individuals who behave naturally revealing their personality and they owe the positive effect in the eye of everyone to an approach that grounds on the “a person knowing himself/herself” principle.
Debate-based learning in the digital environment encourages individuals to work together to create knowledge, while simultaneously providing evreyone with new knowledge. It contributes to the formation of mutual respect by strengthening empathy on the basis of interaction. In addition, different ways to knowledge are discovered in the discussion environment that will take place in digital environment. Discussion-based learning in the digital environment contributes to the transformation of individuals into active individuals through the following stages (Harasim, 2012):
Idea formation: It is the brainstorming stage in which different thoughts within a group are brought together.
Arrangement of ideas: This is the stage where students compare, analyze and classify different ideas previously created through discussion.
Intellectual convergence: The goal here is to reach a level of intellectual synthesis, understanding and compromise (including willingness to disagree). The work is produced jointly to reach this level.
When debating is used in being digital citizenship, also all four skills of language (e.g. listening, speaking, reading, and writing) are practiced. Moreover, debaters need to master pronunciation of words, stress, vocabulary, brainstorming, script writing, logic building, argumentation and refutation (Alasmari, Ahmed 2013). The following are some of the skills debating helps develop:
Ability to document the resources they found to support their positions;
Critical thinking skills;
Team work (cooperative learning; peer education);
Sharing one’s own ideas according to specific rules;
Supporting one’s own opinions with evidence and sources;
Understanding the opposing team;
Skills of persuasion
As a result debate is a learning method suitable for all areas. Debate contribute of individual’s learning process by linguistic notions/structures they needed very easily and in a very natural. Individuals learn to respect other people even though they have different opinions: it is a good way to lead others to a deep understanding of other people’s points of view. They learn that what matters most is not only having ideas but mainly being able to reach the heart and the mind of other people by means of the power of our logic and critical thinking. They learn to look for sources of information reliable and credited, in the form of statistics and facts to support their point of view. I think that the research for trustworthy sources of information is something that is unusual in our schools that will turn out to be a useful life-skill.
“You learn how to speak in public by being a part of debate as an digital citizen.”
- Alasmari, A., & Ahmed, S. (2013). Using Debate in EFL Classes. English Language Teaching, 6(1), 147−152. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v6n1p147
- Bellon, J. & Williams, A. (2008). The Policy Debate Manual A Comprehensive Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Competitive Debate https://www.coursehero.com/file/28355538/Bellon-Textbook-1pdf/(accessed on October 15, 2019).
- Eriksen, M. (2009). Authentic leadership practical reflexivity, self-awareness, and self- authorship. Journal of Management Education, 33(6), 747-771.
- Harasim, L. (2012) Learning Theory and Online Technologies New York/London: Routledge. Hassan, S. (2020). The Art of Debate. SYED Public Debate,DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.12397.33765
- Krieger, D. (2005). Teaching debate to ESL students: A six-class unit. The Internet TESL Journal, 11(2).
- Pedersen, A. Y., Nørgaard, R. T., & Köppe, C. (2018). Patterns of inclusion: Fostering digital citizenship through hybrid education. Educational Technology and Society, 21(1), 225– 236.
Vlastos, G. (1995). Socratic Studies, Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.