Energy, Society and Place Research Unit

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham

Energy in GEES toolkit: Debates

The aim of debates is to motivate students to think critically; while teaching them how to inquire, organise and prioritise information, and improve their public speaking skills. Before the debate starts, students are divided into teams of minimum 3 people. Then, a topic or resolution is set. Each team needs to argue for the presented resolution or against it.

After the time is allocated for research and preparation, the two opposing teams start the debate in front of the classroom, which has a role of a jury. First, the affirmative team receives two minutes to present their arguments to the audience. Then the negative team presents their case in two minutes.

After their presentations, both teams receive two minutes to prepare a rebuttal and summary. The negative team presents their rebuttal and summary for the first two minutes, following by the affirmative team. At the end, the jury votes and decides which team has the stronger case.

Example 1: ‘The increase of human population is the key factor for overconsumption of energy’.

Example 2: ‘New nuclear energy plants are necessary to be built for the energy security of the UK’ 

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