4 Introduction to the Skills of Constructive Debate

In this section, we’ll focus on a collaborative form of debate. The behavioral skills involved require some conscious intent and the process itself requires some structure. While the skills are relatively simple to learn, they are not just “doing what comes naturally” under the circumstances where they are most needed, and thus are not necessarily easy. They call for both positive intent and personal discipline. And these skills are more likely to be practiced in a culture or environment that supports the process and encourages the practices of constructive debate.

Constructive debaters will:

• Bring up a variety of ideas for consideration

• Encourage both creative and critical thinking

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