In this activity, students debated topics in science and technology from the perspective of a stakeholder during a particular period in 20th century American history. While this structure was used for all three debates, this posting will draw from one debate in particular, the 1923 immigration committee role play.
This role play debate has participants take on the perspective of leftist Chilean university students in the late 1960s, just before Socialist Salvador Allende won the presidency and shortly thereafter was toppled by the military.
This activity teaches skills in critical assessment of the peer-reviewed published literature. It focuses on analysis of clinical trials in mental health, but the principles and methods are readily generalizable to other scientific literature. The “Smackdown” approach represents an augmentation of the traditional “journal club” mode of teaching critical scientific reading skills.
The purpose of this activity is for students to present a complicated academic debate within their own debate. Asher Orkaby assigned students to a position in the debate and had them prepare their arguments before class. The students were paired together and asked to debate JFK's performance during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They based their arguments on readings assigned for the week. After presenting their arguments, the students fielded questions from their classmates. Read more about Cuban Missile Crisis Debate
Assigned debates work well for weeks where several competing theoretical approaches are covered. This debate involves competing theories on approaches to explaining political attitudes.Read more about Explaining Political Attitudes
In Caroline Light's course, WGS1238: Consuming Passions, students participate in a simulation where each student acts out the persona of either an invented/fictional character or a real public figure. They then debate a question regarding globalization in order to develop critical thinking and contextual skills around the course's topic on agency in the global marketplace. Read more about Globalization Character Simulation
For her sixth section, Kirstin Woody Scott prepared this activity based off of the HMS/BWH case study on Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee and tuberculosis. This activity allowed students to discuss and present the knowledge of the case they had reviewed in lecture and tackle policy realities in global health. Students prepared oral arguments to take on the role of different stakeholders and defend their positions when faced with cuts to global health funding.
This debate about whether judicial review is compatible with democracy is meant to get students thinking about what sort of ideal democracy is, and to see both its procedural and substantive components. Read more about Judicial Review and Democracy