November 11, 12, 13, 14, 2014
Professor Luella Brein
Public Speaking & College writing
We conducted workshops and argumentation exercises with Luella Brien's students in Public Speaking and College writing courses. We went to each class twice so we could introduce major concepts and than engage in a refutation/mini-debate exercises. The first day of the workshops, we discussed the importance of debate and argumentation education and critical thinking exercises for a college education. We also discussed the elements of a basic argument and practiced argument construction with different resolutions.
The second day of workshops with each of the classes focused on refutation, fallacies and engagement of arguments. With the basic understanding of argument structure, students seemed excited to engage some of their ideas and arguments in a mini-debate. Students became much more open with their ideas and less apprehensive to share their opinions.
RMC students acted as trainers and mentors for the workshop sessions. RMC transfer student Susan Beks states, "I went to every workshop at the tribal college as a mentor. It was a lot of fun and it really helped me in debate as well. We went through the structure of debate a lot of times, that's how I also became more aware of how I should make my speeches. Since we went to the debate model a couple times with the same people in the class, they also remembered and really understood and the end how to make a speech and come up with arguments. We even had a small real debate at the end of the last class! It also made it a lot of fun because all the students in the class got involved and also wanted to be involved. That's how we got up with a lot of good arguments and speeches."
At the completion of the workshop sessions in the fall, we tentatively planned workshop sessions for the spring semester in addition to discussing the possibility of a tournament between RMC, Little Bighorn College, and Chief Dullknife College in the spring term. Now that students and some professors know about the foundation of debate, they are excited to explore other opportunities for engagement and further debating opportunities.