Meet Teresa Menzies. She is the President of our Local #73 and our Union Officer. She is also a master teacher. I know, I was one of her students.
When she taught me my first CAE course, she introduced me to a technique called a Stand Up Debate.
It's a powerful and versatile tool that I use often in my classroom.
Here is how it works.
Make up two signs – one that says "Agree" and one that says "Disagree". Post each one on either side of the classroom. Then read a statement and ask students to "vote with their feet". For example, in Marketing, I may say something like: "Marketers create needs". If I was teaching a class on engines for the Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic program, I may say something like: "Oil filters should be filled prior to installation".* The best statements are those that have sound arguments on both sides.
Once students have moved to one side of the classroom or the other, ask them why they voted in that way. If everybody happens to go to one side then be prepared to make the arguments for the other side.
There are many ways to use this technique.
Give it a try. Join the debate.
How do you make your classroom active? Leave a comment or contact us directly at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Special thanks to Murray Thiessen, Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic Instructor, for giving me a relevant example from his trade.