The weekly debates will be the main discussion assignment for this course. Instead of prewritten discussion questions as you have had in other classes, the instructor will initiate a debate by posting a current issue or event to the Discussion Area. The topics to be debated will be dependent on the area of government covered in a week.
The main goal of this form of learning is to encourage open interaction, to reveal current information on social and political issues and events using appropriate sources, and to develop administrative skills in decision making and leadership.
To be successful in the debate process, Week 1 will include a discussion and overview of the debate process and the setting of ground rules. These ground rules will be agreed upon by all participants. From Week 2 onwards, the instructor will assign two debate topics.
Week 1 Debate
Describe the debate process used in Congress today. Describe any formal debate you may have been involved in, in the past. What were its outcomes? What were some of the obstacles you faced? Was the debate an effective method of communicating and idea sharing? What could have happened differently to stimulate further idea sharing?
Use C-Span and CNN to view House and Senate Debates.Have the debate rules changed in the House and Senate? If so when and why?
Based on the methods used in Congress today and your past experiences, how would you like this courses weekly debates to proceed? List the ground rules that should be set for the weekly debate.
Finally, what are some important current issues that would be worthwhile to discuss? How can the outcomes of these issues affect the constituents in your local area?