Policymaker Planning Guide
- Work independently or with another student who has the same role as you and review the articles: "Debating Iraq's War Strategy," "Iraq and U.S. Policy," and "Representative John Murtha's Stand on War in Iraq." You may use other sources if necessary as time allows.
- Complete only Part 1 of this worksheet to prepare for the debate. Create a list of questions you will ask both advocates when they meet with you. Ask challenging questions based on the research you have completed to make sure each advocate is able to support their position. Also make sure your questions are balanced and not biased.
- After completing the worksheet, form a debate group with the two advocate counterparts and one other policy maker. Follow the debate format below to conduct your debate.
One of the following positions is proposed for debate:
"The U.S. military should end its occupation of Iraq at the earliest possible moment." Or "The U.S. military should stay in Iraq until the insurgency has been defeated and Iraq is able to govern itself."
Part One - Questions:
Part Two - Reasons given by each advocate during the debate. Take brief notes while the debate is going on. Use an extra sheet of paper if necessary.
|REASONS FOR:||REASONS AGAINST:|
Part Three - After the debate, consider these questions in making your decision:
- Were either advocate's arguments relevant to the issue?
- Were their arguments supported by evidence?
- Which arguments presented by one advocate went unchallenged by the other advocate?
- What contrary evidence was presented by either side that seemed to disprove the other side's position?
- Did the evidence seem credible and accurate? Why or why not?
After carefully considering the reasons and evidence each side presented I have concluded that:
The reasons that most influenced my decision are:
- Part I
- The Advocate For should begin by presenting and defending his or her position on the issue. (10 minutes)
- During this time the Advocate Against should listen, but may not speak. He or she can write notes if necessary. The policymaker may ask questions at any time.
- Then the Advocate Against explains and defends his or her position on the issue. (10 minutes -- same rules as above)
- Part II
- In the last 10 minutes, each advocate group may refute the arguments made by the other side, one point at a time. The policymakers should moderate this so that each advocate group takes a turn rebutting the other side's points. The policymaker can also ask questions during this time to either advocate.
- Following the debate, the policymakers complete their planning guide. (This can be done as a homework assignment.)
- Part III
- Policymakers announce their decisions.
- The teacher will debrief the activity by asking the student debate groups the following questions:
- Which arguments by each side were the strongest? Which arguments were the weakest? Why?
- Which ones were the best supported with evidence and most convincing?
- Which issues are at the center of the controversy? Which issues are in conflict?
- How can the groups achieve consensus on this issue? What would such a policy look like?