By Jaimie Lee
BRIDGE Media Officer
Every Tuesday, the youth at MSP, KYCC’s middle school program, learn about debate and rhetoric through a lesson led by John Teacher. September 11 marked John Teacher’s first lesson of the year. This meant that it was his second year as a guest speaker at KYCC Bridge’s Program.
John Teacher began his lecture by explaining that debates are utilized often, from everyday life to politics. He also defined rhetoric as the art of using speaking and/or writing to effectively persuade the audience. By elaborating upon these two terms, John Teacher was able to show the importance of these skills.
In order for the students to practice, John Teacher set up an engaging exercise. The students were shown a controversial question and they would choose between three positions: for, undecided, or against. Some examples of questions included “Should uniform be mandatory in schools?” and “Do video games make people violent and/or lazy?” The opposing sides would then take turns explaining the reasoning behind their choice in order to persuade the undecided to join them. The side with the majority at the end would be declared the winner.
The kids interacted with each other in various ways during this simulation. Some kids acted as a leader for their group and many were really passionate about their cause. Those in the undecided group asked insightful questions to both sides. Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy this exercise and gain a better understanding of how to properly debate.