Think Global, Debate Local (MSON) (History/Social Science Elective; US)

Fall; Grades 10–12
Prerequisite: None
Taught by: Roeper School

Water justice. Gentrification. Housing. Education. Race Relations. Public Safety. Environmental Issues. Is it wrong to shut off water service to households that are delinquent on their water bills? Is access to affordable housing a human right? Should environmental issues take priority over the needs of businesses? Do we have an obligation to help asylum seekers? People all around the world struggle with these and other challenges. In Think Global, Debate Local, we use issues in our own neighborhoods to take deep dives into the facts and philosophies underlying the challenges, values, and perspectives that shape our world on scales ranging from the personal to the global.

The overarching goal of this course is for students to teach each other about important topics in their own neighborhoods, towns, states, and regions, and to use debate as a tool to examine the perspectives surrounding those topics. Other goals include achieving a better understanding of complex issues by taking on and arguing for the viewpoints of various stakeholders, discovering ways to shift from an adversarial to a cooperative relationship when disagreements arise, and understanding the ways different values can be used as filters through which a given issue can be viewed. Please note that this course is geared toward beginning debaters with an emphasis on basic argumentation, not competition, although more experienced debaters are welcome.


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