Civil Discourse in the Classroom—based on lessons tested in diverse classrooms across the United States and proven effective with a wide range of students and topics—will introduce educators to basic tools for teaching civil discourse. It is not subject-specific; on the contrary, the tools of argumentation and discussion lend themselves to any subject in any classroom. Although it is primarily designed for young adolescents, the curriculum can be adapted for students of any age.
Using these lessons, students will be able to turn their unsubstantiated opinions into reasoned arguments. They also will learn how to effectively challenge an opposing argument—not with fists and fury, but rather with a step-by-step process for refutation.
These tools lay the groundwork for productive, reasoned and lively discussions on a variety of topics. They also will give students “training wheels” for learning how to have reasoned arguments outside the classroom.