Friday, May 22, 2009

Topic: Critical Thinking, Discussion and Civility

10-second review: Analyze discussions in the media. What do you learn?

Title: “Civility: The Right Thing To Teach in Contentious Times.” A F Nilsen. English Journal (July 2008), 65-69. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “It is discouraging that after a presidential debate what gets quoted are the zingers. The ‘winners’ are not the ones who make the most thoughtful suggestions but the ones who interrupt others, talk the loudest, make the quickest comebacks or insults, and compete to keep the attention on themselves.” p. 66.

Comment: The models of uncivil discussion are all over cable television and the radio. Have the students analyze the behavior. Apply it to class discussions. Put together a booklet with the students’ conclusions on how to conduct a civil discussion. RayS.

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