Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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  Workshop 4: Constitutional Convention  
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Workshop 4

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Teacher Perspectives: Debate rules

Matt Johnson: I felt that after the kids had made a commitment to this unit by completing their first work sheet--the executive branch--they were ready to think seriously about how the debate should take place and what procedures should be for creating and adopting ideas for the constitution. So we began the [second day] with those two ideas and opened the floor up for debate.

The students made the decision that the plurality system will rule what makes it into our constitution. I kind of hoped that a majority in a run-off system might be the choice they would make. But in some ways it'll be easier to get through the constitution--at least to put the final document together. That may differ from class to class. You may have one group saying it has to be a majority or it has to be a three-fourths majority, but they decided whatever receives the most votes we will adopt. They also decided to keep debate limited per group and per person to allow more ideas on to the floor.


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