|Authors: Dena Plemmons and Michael Kalichman, 2008|
The principle of using a debate format to address ethical challenges is to encourage participants to not only formulate their own views, but to better understand opposing viewpoints. The key to meeting these goals is to assign individuals or groups to the position that they will be asked to defend, rather than to allow them to choose their position in advance. The format and context for such debates can be highly structured (e.g., the Ethics Bowl competitions of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics) or informally organized on an ad hoc basis during class discussion (e.g, asking two students immovably engaged in a discussion to each take on the responsibility of articulating the views of their opponent). Other students in the class, or faculty participants, can serve as moderators or arbiters and make a final decision about which side was more persuasive and why.
- Ethics Bowl, Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
- Classroom Debates