NERCVirtual 2020: How We Argue

Presenter: Nate Otey, otey@fas.harvard.edu
https://thinkeranalytix.org/

How We Argue: A workshop with Harvard Fellow Nate Otey

As we enter this fraught election season, educators want to discuss current issues and empower students to engage as active citizens. Yet, often when discussing controversial topics, students rely on unsubstantiated facts or emotional appeals, rather than evidence and reasoning. How can we teach students to listen respectfully and defend their views courageously – to cultivate both empathy and logical rigor? 

In this series of interactive workshops, Harvard Fellow Nate Otey will show you how to use a simple, powerful tool called argument mapping to help students develop and support their own claims, as well to better understand those with whom they disagree. Research from top universities shows that mapping significantly improves students’ critical thinking skills and may even decrease partisan polarization.  

Each workshop will center on a different controversial topic related to the upcoming election. Here is the tentative schedule: 

  • October 8, 3pm: Defund the police?
  • October 15, 3pm: Abolish ICE, or build the wall?
  • October 22, 3pm: Universal mail-in voting

Participants will leave these workshops with simple, practical tools to help students discuss current issues with precision and care.

 

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