A method that combines the argumentative skills of debate education with central concepts in political philosophy
In the days of the Athenian polis, public speaking, debate and philosophy were the cornerstones of democratic life. Philosophy had the form of a dialogue between people with contrasting views, and philosophers taught the art of persuasion to citizens attending the ekklēsia – the principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens. In contemporary secondary schools however, debate clubs and philosophy classes have become separate worlds that, regrettably, seldom interfere. This state of affairs leads to a waste of knowledge and skills, and lowers the potential impact that debating skills and philosophical thinking could have on strengthening democracy.
The Erasmus+ project with the title A Debate And Philosophy Typology (ADAPT), coordinated by Natascha Kienstra from Tilburg University, aims at overcoming the divide between debate clubs and philosophy classrooms by developing innovative educational materials and researching their effectivity. All intellectual outputs of the ADAPT project (book, debaticons and worksheets) were developed by a consortium of four secondary schools (Wolfert Bilingual School, Rotterdam; Gimnazija Ledina, Ljubljana; Privatna klasicna gimnazija, Zagreb; ITE Enrico Tosi, Busto Arsizio), two universities (Tilburg University and Erasmus University Rotterdam), and three associations (Za in Proti, Slovenia; Hrvatsko Debatno Drustvo, Croatia; The Noisy Classroom, UK).
We present a set of key concepts that offer philosophy teachers a clear and comprehensive approach to debating. These concepts are visualized with logic symbols, which we have turned into a set of stamps. After downloading our 3D models, these stamps can be materialized with a 3D printer. They can be used in the classroom to analyze and evaluate debates, or used in combination with worksheets that offer practical assignments to become more familiar with our debate methodology.