HomeControversyStructured Academic Controversy (SAC)

Structured Academic Controversy (SAC)

What Is It?

A conversation that leads students away from either/or arguments and toward a more complex historical synthesis.

Rationale

When students reach puberty, many of them think that every subject is neatly packaged in a pro/con framework and that the point of class discussion is to defeat your adversary rather than to understand him. The SAC method offers an alternative to the “argument mindset” by changing the focus of classroom debates from winning to comprehending opposing viewpoints and creating historical summaries. The SAC’s format forces students to listen to one another in novel ways and introduces them to a universe of challenging concepts.

Description

The SAC was created by David and Roger Johnson, experts in cooperative learning at the University of Minnesota, to provide classroom discussions direction and structure. Students investigate a question by reading about and then presenting opposing perspectives while working in pairs and then coming together in four-person teams. They then have a discussion to reach an agreement.

Educator readiness

1. Pick a historical issue that lends itself to opposing points of view. The question “Was Abraham Lincoln a racist?” serves as an illustration of the SAC below, but many additional issues are amenable to the strategy. For instance, “Could the Constitution have been approved if slavery had been abolished?” or “Was dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki vital to defeat the Japanese?”

2. Locate and choose two or three primary or secondary sources that best represent each side. (Remember that you can obtain these from already printed or online document collections.)

ALSO READ: Jack Manifold Controversy: What Actions Took Jack Manifold? Nihachu Dating Rumors And The Misogynist Controversy – Tassco 

3. Plan grouping techniques, duplicate handouts, and think about scheduling. The amount of experience your students have with the activity structure, the complexity, and the familiarity of the documents will all affect how much time you will need for a SAC that employs four or five documents. For your first SAC, budget roughly two class periods.

During class

The technique, which has been modified and adjusted countless times by researchers and educators, contains five fundamental steps (See Handout 1) with instructions to show for pupils.

1. Divide the class into four teams of two dyads each.

2. Each dyad examines resources that give opposing viewpoints on a contentious topic (such as “Was Abraham Lincoln a racist?”). See Handout 2 for guidance on helping students keep track of their analyses and formulate positions.

ALSO READ: Liz Truss Controversy: Who will become the next prime minister of Britain—Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss? 

3. Four-person dyads then get together to convey their ideas to one another, with one dyad serving as the presenter and the others as the listeners.

4. The listening pair repeats what they heard to the speakers rather than disputing the other viewpoint. Before the original presenters are completely confident that they have been heard and understood, listeners do not become presenters.

5. After the sides switch, the dyads give up their initial tasks and try to come to an agreement. In the event that agreement cannot be reached, the group identifies their disagreements.

Common Errors

Early on, students have a strong foundation for their arguments. Students will attempt to uncover flaws in their opponents’ arguments and endeavor to disprove them, while being instructed that they should understand rather than undermine an opposing position. We suggest

Having your pupils practice “active listening” in pairs for a few minutes after you introduce the concept to them.

ALSO READ: Director of Brahmastra Ayan Mukerji Discusses the “Love Storiyaan” Kesariya Song Controversy in “Shakar Me Thoda Namak” 

establishing the rule: Take notes when you’re uncertain but refrain from interrupting presenters.

Make sure the instructions are posted or made into handouts so that students can refer to them throughout the exercise.

The absence of a certain response could perplex students when they begin to recognize alternative viewpoints and nuance in the materials. Reassuring pupils that complexity and unpredictability are expected throughout this exercise is a good idea. Encourage them to write down any questions, new concepts, or areas of confusion they have.

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Structured Academic Controversy (SAC)

What Is It?

A conversation that leads students away from either/or arguments and toward a more complex historical synthesis.

Rationale

When students reach puberty, many of them think that every subject is neatly packaged in a pro/con framework and that the point of class discussion is to defeat your adversary rather than to understand him. The SAC method offers an alternative to the “argument mindset” by changing the focus of classroom debates from winning to comprehending opposing viewpoints and creating historical summaries. The SAC’s format forces students to listen to one another in novel ways and introduces them to a universe of challenging concepts.

Description

The SAC was created by David and Roger Johnson, experts in cooperative learning at the University of Minnesota, to provide classroom discussions direction and structure. Students investigate a question by reading about and then presenting opposing perspectives while working in pairs and then coming together in four-person teams. They then have a discussion to reach an agreement.

Educator readiness

1. Pick a historical issue that lends itself to opposing points of view. The question “Was Abraham Lincoln a racist?” serves as an illustration of the SAC below, but many additional issues are amenable to the strategy. For instance, “Could the Constitution have been approved if slavery had been abolished?” or “Was dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki vital to defeat the Japanese?”

2. Locate and choose two or three primary or secondary sources that best represent each side. (Remember that you can obtain these from already printed or online document collections.)

ALSO READ: Jack Manifold Controversy: What Actions Took Jack Manifold? Nihachu Dating Rumors And The Misogynist Controversy – Tassco 

3. Plan grouping techniques, duplicate handouts, and think about scheduling. The amount of experience your students have with the activity structure, the complexity, and the familiarity of the documents will all affect how much time you will need for a SAC that employs four or five documents. For your first SAC, budget roughly two class periods.

During class

The technique, which has been modified and adjusted countless times by researchers and educators, contains five fundamental steps (See Handout 1) with instructions to show for pupils.

1. Divide the class into four teams of two dyads each.

2. Each dyad examines resources that give opposing viewpoints on a contentious topic (such as “Was Abraham Lincoln a racist?”). See Handout 2 for guidance on helping students keep track of their analyses and formulate positions.

ALSO READ: Liz Truss Controversy: Who will become the next prime minister of Britain—Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss? 

3. Four-person dyads then get together to convey their ideas to one another, with one dyad serving as the presenter and the others as the listeners.

4. The listening pair repeats what they heard to the speakers rather than disputing the other viewpoint. Before the original presenters are completely confident that they have been heard and understood, listeners do not become presenters.

5. After the sides switch, the dyads give up their initial tasks and try to come to an agreement. In the event that agreement cannot be reached, the group identifies their disagreements.

Common Errors

Early on, students have a strong foundation for their arguments. Students will attempt to uncover flaws in their opponents’ arguments and endeavor to disprove them, while being instructed that they should understand rather than undermine an opposing position. We suggest

Having your pupils practice “active listening” in pairs for a few minutes after you introduce the concept to them.

ALSO READ: Director of Brahmastra Ayan Mukerji Discusses the “Love Storiyaan” Kesariya Song Controversy in “Shakar Me Thoda Namak” 

establishing the rule: Take notes when you’re uncertain but refrain from interrupting presenters.

Make sure the instructions are posted or made into handouts so that students can refer to them throughout the exercise.

The absence of a certain response could perplex students when they begin to recognize alternative viewpoints and nuance in the materials. Reassuring pupils that complexity and unpredictability are expected throughout this exercise is a good idea. Encourage them to write down any questions, new concepts, or areas of confusion they have.

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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