Group Debate

Group debate is a learning and teaching method where groups of students debate a question that is prepared outside of the classroom. Although the format of the debates can differ, for example, the time allocated for each speaker can vary from one debate to another, they are similar in their purpose: two teams advocate opposing opinions to try to present the most feasible and compelling arguments. Debates are usually an effective tool to enhance interaction and student ownership of learning. There are different debate formats, such as parliamentary debates, the Mace debate and the Australasia debate, which are popular at universities and high schools. In these debates, the best student teams continue on to participate in international competitions. Examples of debates are described by Oros (2008) and Boeckelman et al. (2008).



Boeckelman, K., Deitz, J. L. and Hardy, R.J. (2008) ‘Organizing a congressional candidate debate as experiential learning’, Journal of Political Science Education 4:4, pp. 435-446.


Oros, A.L. (2007) ‘Let’s debate: Active learning encourages student participation and critical thinking’, Journal of Political Science Education 3:3, pp. 293-311.