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Learning the Art of Persuasion: from YouTube to Formal Debate

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Disingenuous persuasive arguments drive me crazy. Persuasion for the sake of a grade as opposed to something that matters to one’s life and well being are two very different beasts. Making students understand that if they don’t have the tools to persuade, they will never have any kind of power, is a difficult sell. They don’t really hear it. Maybe it’s because they’ve never possessed power, so they don’t assume such potential in the first place. Maybe they don’t know what they would use it for anyway. Perhaps they think they already have power and the ability to persuade, so why should they listen to a stupid teacher about it. So, the challenge for me is to address the following standards in a way that sticks and allows students to walk away with these methods in their toolbox when they need them in life. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?

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