Debates, a popular classroom method, elicit students’ participation and critical thinking. Debates’ focus of winning, at times, generates arguments. Constructive controversy, a researched-based methodological alternative, similarly facilitates students’ engagement and critical thinking while also inventively diminishing arguments through cooperative negotiation (Johnson & Johnson, 2009). The author examines both methods’ impact on students’ engagement, students’ thinking, and the dialogues’ productivity. Three findings and three educationally significant insights emerged.
Bickford, John H. III, "A Comparative Analysis of Two Methods for Guiding Discussions Surrounding Controversial and Unresolved Topics" (2011). Faculty Research and Creative Activity. 2.