Tip #76: Presenting both sides of an issue

The Challenge: You want the group to be aware of strong arguments on both sides of an issue, but not feel that you are skirting the issue by avoiding a definitive “correct” answer.

Possible Approaches: Provide a pre-test to have the participants identify which answer they initially favor.

Then: Use a debate method, having the participants research and present the opposite side of the issue; or present a panel who can articulately represent both sides of the issue; or provide a case study for small group work that can be resolved in one of two ways, which the small groups will have to articulate and explain; or show a video with alternate endings that demonstrate the effect of the two different sides of the issue; or have the participants create a mock court and role play attorneys presenting both sides in front of other participants who serve as the jury. Any of these instructional methods will provide equal time to both sides of the issue and allow the participants to discover for themselves that there is no definitive “correct” answer.

End with a post-test to determine whether the participants have either changed their minds or recognized there is some validity to the other side of the issue.

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