Among a group of homeschoolers today we challenged ourselves to effectively argue the opposing positions on two subjects we had strong opinions and intuition about as a group. The topics we discussed were whether there should be more or less standardized testing in schools, and whether the moon landing truly happened or was a hoax. We started out by writing down the reasons that we so strongly believed in our side of the argument, and then pulled out our computers and did lots of research to back up those opinions.
We decided as a group to take a walk to reflect on our personal thoughts and the reasons that we believed them. On our way back we explored how culture, religion, community, and family can impact our personal thoughts and beliefs. We sat back down with an open mind and worked hard to put ourselves into the shoes of someone who had opposing opinions. As a group we searched the internet, filtering for .edu and .org sites. We collected information that we gathered into a compelling argument to present to our leader, mentor, and support, Blake, who took our original data and beliefs and used it to argue against us in our new position.
We put up quite a fight, and got really into it, arguing with Blake to the death of our own opinions. It created a nourishing and educational environment to open our minds to both sides of opinion on these subjects. In conclusion we learned to argue and we created a space that helped us grow into better individuals promoting our opinions and bringing them into the world.