Your decision should answer the resolutional question: Is the enactment of topical action better than the status quo or a competitive option?
1. “Resolved” before a colon reflects a legislative forum
(5-12, “# 12, Punctuation – The Colon and Semicolon”, http://usawocc.army.mil/IMI/wg12.htm)
The colon introduces the following: a. A list, but only after "as follows," "the following," or a noun for which the list is an appositive: Each scout will carry the following: (colon) meals for three days, a survival knife, and his sleeping bag. The company had four new officers: (colon) Bill Smith, Frank Tucker, Peter Fillmore, and Oliver Lewis. b. A long quotation (one or more paragraphs): In The Killer Angels Michael Shaara wrote: (colon) You may find it a different story from the one you learned in school. There have been many versions of that battle [Gettysburg] and that war [the Civil War]. (The quote continues for two more paragraphs.) c. A formal quotation or question: The President declared: (colon) "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." The question is: (colon) what can we do about it? d. A second independent clause which explains the first: Potter's motive is clear: (colon) he wants the assignment. e. After the introduction of a business letter: Dear Sirs: (colon) Dear Madam: (colon) f. The details following an announcement For sale: (colon) large lakeside cabin with dock g. A formal resolution, after the word "resolved:"
Resolved: (colon) That this council petition the mayor.
2. “USFG should” means the debate is solely about a policy established by governmental means
(Jon M., Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts – California Polytechnic U., et al., The Debater’s Guide, Third Edition, p. 4)
The Proposition of Policy: Urging Future Action In policy propositions, each topic contains certain key elements, although they have slightly different functions from comparable elements of value-oriented propositions. 1. An agent doing the acting ---“The United States” in “The United States should adopt a policy of free trade.” Like the object of evaluation in a proposition of value, the agent is the subject of the sentence. 2. The verb should—the first part of a verb phrase that urges action. 3. An action verb to follow should in the should-verb combination. For example, should adopt here means to put a program or policy into action though governmental means. 4. A specification of directions or a limitation of the action desired. The phrase free trade, for example, gives direction and limits to the topic, which would, for example, eliminate consideration of increasing tariffs, discussing diplomatic recognition, or discussing interstate commerce. Propositions of policy deal with future action. Nothing has yet occurred. The entire debate is about whether something ought to occur. What you agree to do, then, when you accept the affirmative side in such a debate is to offer sufficient and compelling reasons for an audience to perform the future action that you propose.
They claim to win the debate for reasons other than the desirability of topical action. That undermines preparation and clash. Changing the question now leaves one side unprepared, resulting in shallow, uneducational debate. Requiring debate on a communal topic forces argument development and develops persuasive skills critical to any political outcome.
Simulated national security law debates inculcate agency and decision-making skills—that enables activism and avoids cooption
Laura K. Donohue, Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown Law, 4/11/13, National Security Law Pedagogy and the Role of Simulations, http://jnslp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/National-Security-Law-Pedagogy-and-the-Role-of-Simulations.pdf
The concept of simulations as an aspect of higher education, or in the law school environment, is not new.164 Moot court, after all, is a form of simulation and one of the oldest teaching devices in the law. What is new, however, is the idea of designing a civilian national security course that takes advantage of the doctrinal and experiential components of law school education and integrates the experience through a multi-day simulation. In 2009, I taught the first module based on this design at Stanford Law, which I developed the following year into a full course at Georgetown Law. It has since gone through multiple iterations. The initial concept followed on the federal full-scale Top Official (“TopOff”) exercises, used to train government officials to respond to domestic crises.165 It adapted a Tabletop Exercise, designed with the help of exercise officials at DHS and FEMA, to the law school environment. The Tabletop used one storyline to push on specific legal questions, as students, assigned roles in the discussion, sat around a table and for six hours engaged with the material. The problem with the Tabletop Exercise was that it was too static, and the rigidity of the format left little room, or time, for student agency. Unlike the government’s TopOff exercises, which gave officials the opportunity to fully engage with the many different concerns that arise in the course of a national security crisis as well as the chance to deal with externalities, the Tabletop focused on specific legal issues, even as it controlled for external chaos. The opportunity to provide a more full experience for the students came with the creation of first a one-day, and then a multi-day simulation. The course design and simulation continues to evolve. It offers a model for achieving the pedagogical goals outlined above, in the process developing a rigorous training ground for the next generation of national security lawyers.166 A. Course Design The central idea in structuring the NSL Sim 2.0 course was to bridge the gap between theory and practice by conveying doctrinal material and creating an alternative reality in which students would be forced to act upon legal concerns.167 The exercise itself is a form of problem-based learning, wherein students are given both agency and responsibility for the results. Towards this end, the structure must be at once bounded (directed and focused on certain areas of the law and legal education) and flexible (responsive to student input and decisionmaking). Perhaps the most significant weakness in the use of any constructed universe is the problem of authenticity. Efforts to replicate reality will inevitably fall short. There is simply too much uncertainty, randomness, and complexity in the real world. One way to address this shortcoming, however, is through design and agency. The scenarios with which students grapple and the structural design of the simulation must reflect the national security realm, even as students themselves must make choices that carry consequences. Indeed, to some extent, student decisions themselves must drive the evolution of events within the simulation.168 Additionally, while authenticity matters, it is worth noting that at some level the fact that the incident does not take place in a real-world setting can be a great advantage. That is, the simulation creates an environment where students can make mistakes and learn from these mistakes – without what might otherwise be devastating consequences. It also allows instructors to develop multiple points of feedback to enrich student learning in a way that would be much more difficult to do in a regular practice setting. NSL Sim 2.0 takes as its starting point the national security pedagogical goals discussed above. It works backwards to then engineer a classroom, cyber, and physical/simulation experience to delve into each of these areas. As a substantive matter, the course focuses on the constitutional, statutory, and regulatory authorities in national security law, placing particular focus on the interstices between black letter law and areas where the field is either unsettled or in flux. A key aspect of the course design is that it retains both the doctrinal and experiential components of legal education. Divorcing simulations from the doctrinal environment risks falling short on the first and third national security pedagogical goals: (1) analytical skills and substantive knowledge, and (3) critical thought. A certain amount of both can be learned in the course of a simulation; however, the national security crisis environment is not well-suited to the more thoughtful and careful analytical discussion. What I am thus proposing is a course design in which doctrine is paired with the type of experiential learning more common in a clinical realm. The former precedes the latter, giving students the opportunity to develop depth and breadth prior to the exercise. In order to capture problems related to adaptation and evolution, addressing goal [1(d)], the simulation itself takes place over a multi-day period. Because of the intensity involved in national security matters (and conflicting demands on student time), the model makes use of a multi-user virtual environment. The use of such technology is critical to creating more powerful, immersive simulations.169 It also allows for continual interaction between the players. Multi-user virtual environments have the further advantage of helping to transform the traditional teaching culture, predominantly concerned with manipulating textual and symbolic knowledge, into a culture where students learn and can then be assessed on the basis of their participation in changing practices.170 I thus worked with the Information Technology group at Georgetown Law to build the cyber portal used for NSL Sim 2.0. The twin goals of adaptation and evolution require that students be given a significant amount of agency and responsibility for decisions taken in the course of the simulation. To further this aim, I constituted a Control Team, with six professors, four attorneys from practice, a media expert, six to eight former simulation students, and a number of technology experts. Four of the professors specialize in different areas of national security law and assume roles in the course of the exercise, with the aim of pushing students towards a deeper doctrinal understanding of shifting national security law authorities. One professor plays the role of President of the United States. The sixth professor focuses on questions of professional responsibility. The attorneys from practice help to build the simulation and then, along with all the professors, assume active roles during the simulation itself. Returning students assist in the execution of the play, further developing their understanding of national security law. Throughout the simulation, the Control Team is constantly reacting to student choices. When unexpected decisions are made, professors may choose to pursue the evolution of the story to accomplish the pedagogical aims, or they may choose to cut off play in that area (there are various devices for doing so, such as denying requests, sending materials to labs to be analyzed, drawing the players back into the main storylines, and leaking information to the media). A total immersion simulation involves a number of scenarios, as well as systemic noise, to give students experience in dealing with the second pedagogical goal: factual chaos and information overload. The driving aim here is to teach students how to manage information more effectively. Five to six storylines are thus developed, each with its own arc and evolution. To this are added multiple alterations of the situation, relating to background noise. Thus, unlike hypotheticals, doctrinal problems, single-experience exercises, or even Tabletop exercises, the goal is not to eliminate external conditions, but to embrace them as part of the challenge facing national security lawyers. The simulation itself is problem-based, giving players agency in driving the evolution of the experience – thus addressing goal [2(c)]. This requires a realtime response from the professor(s) overseeing the simulation, pairing bounded storylines with flexibility to emphasize different areas of the law and the students’ practical skills. Indeed, each storyline is based on a problem facing the government, to which players must then respond, generating in turn a set of new issues that must be addressed. The written and oral components of the simulation conform to the fourth pedagogical goal – the types of situations in which national security lawyers will find themselves. Particular emphasis is placed on nontraditional modes of communication, such as legal documents in advance of the crisis itself, meetings in the midst of breaking national security concerns, multiple informal interactions, media exchanges, telephone calls, Congressional testimony, and formal briefings to senior level officials in the course of the simulation as well as during the last class session. These oral components are paired with the preparation of formal legal instruments, such as applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, legal memos, applications for search warrants under Title III, and administrative subpoenas for NSLs. In addition, students are required to prepare a paper outlining their legal authorities prior to the simulation – and to deliver a 90 second oral briefing after the session. To replicate the high-stakes political environment at issue in goals (1) and (5), students are divided into political and legal roles and assigned to different (and competing) institutions: the White House, DoD, DHS, HHS, DOJ, DOS, Congress, state offices, nongovernmental organizations, and the media. This requires students to acknowledge and work within the broader Washington context, even as they are cognizant of the policy implications of their decisions. They must get used to working with policymakers and to representing one of many different considerations that decisionmakers take into account in the national security domain. Scenarios are selected with high consequence events in mind, to ensure that students recognize both the domestic and international dimensions of national security law. Further alterations to the simulation provide for the broader political context – for instance, whether it is an election year, which parties control different branches, and state and local issues in related but distinct areas. The media is given a particularly prominent role. One member of the Control Team runs an AP wire service, while two student players represent print and broadcast media, respectively. The Virtual News Network (“VNN”), which performs in the second capacity, runs continuously during the exercise, in the course of which players may at times be required to appear before the camera. This media component helps to emphasize the broader political context within which national security law is practiced. Both anticipated and unanticipated decisions give rise to ethical questions and matters related to the fifth goal: professional responsibility. The way in which such issues arise stems from simulation design as well as spontaneous interjections from both the Control Team and the participants in the simulation itself. As aforementioned, professors on the Control Team, and practicing attorneys who have previously gone through a simulation, focus on raising decision points that encourage students to consider ethical and professional considerations. Throughout the simulation good judgment and leadership play a key role, determining the players’ effectiveness, with the exercise itself hitting the aim of the integration of the various pedagogical goals. Finally, there are multiple layers of feedback that players receive prior to, during, and following the simulation to help them to gauge their effectiveness. The Socratic method in the course of doctrinal studies provides immediate assessment of the students’ grasp of the law. Written assignments focused on the contours of individual players’ authorities give professors an opportunity to assess students’ level of understanding prior to the simulation. And the simulation itself provides real-time feedback from both peers and professors. The Control Team provides data points for player reflection – for instance, the Control Team member playing President may make decisions based on player input, giving students an immediate impression of their level of persuasiveness, while another Control Team member may reject a FISC application as insufficient. The simulation goes beyond this, however, focusing on teaching students how to develop (6) opportunities for learning in the future. Student meetings with mentors in the field, which take place before the simulation, allow students to work out the institutional and political relationships and the manner in which law operates in practice, even as they learn how to develop mentoring relationships. (Prior to these meetings we have a class discussion about mentoring, professionalism, and feedback). Students, assigned to simulation teams about one quarter of the way through the course, receive peer feedback in the lead-up to the simulation and during the exercise itself. Following the simulation the Control Team and observers provide comments. Judges, who are senior members of the bar in the field of national security law, observe player interactions and provide additional debriefing. The simulation, moreover, is recorded through both the cyber portal and through VNN, allowing students to go back to assess their performance. Individual meetings with the professors teaching the course similarly follow the event. Finally, students end the course with a paper reflecting on their performance and the issues that arose in the course of the simulation, develop frameworks for analyzing uncertainty, tension with colleagues, mistakes, and successes in the future. B. Substantive Areas: Interstices and Threats As a substantive matter, NSL Sim 2.0 is designed to take account of areas of the law central to national security. It focuses on specific authorities that may be brought to bear in the course of a crisis. The decision of which areas to explore is made well in advance of the course. It is particularly helpful here to think about national security authorities on a continuum, as a way to impress upon students that there are shifting standards depending upon the type of threat faced. One course, for instance, might center on the interstices between crime, drugs, terrorism and war. Another might address the intersection of pandemic disease and biological weapons. A third could examine cybercrime and cyberterrorism. This is the most important determination, because the substance of the doctrinal portion of the course and the simulation follows from this decision. For a course focused on the interstices between pandemic disease and biological weapons, for instance, preliminary inquiry would lay out which authorities apply, where the courts have weighed in on the question, and what matters are unsettled. Relevant areas might include public health law, biological weapons provisions, federal quarantine and isolation authorities, habeas corpus and due process, military enforcement and posse comitatus, eminent domain and appropriation of land/property, takings, contact tracing, thermal imaging and surveillance, electronic tagging, vaccination, and intelligence-gathering. The critical areas can then be divided according to the dominant constitutional authority, statutory authorities, regulations, key cases, general rules, and constitutional questions. This, then, becomes a guide for the doctrinal part of the course, as well as the grounds on which the specific scenarios developed for the simulation are based. The authorities, simultaneously, are included in an electronic resource library and embedded in the cyber portal (the Digital Archives) to act as a closed universe of the legal authorities needed by the students in the course of the simulation. Professional responsibility in the national security realm and the institutional relationships of those tasked with responding to biological weapons and pandemic disease also come within the doctrinal part of the course. The simulation itself is based on five to six storylines reflecting the interstices between different areas of the law. The storylines are used to present a coherent, non-linear scenario that can adapt to student responses. Each scenario is mapped out in a three to seven page document, which is then checked with scientists, government officials, and area experts for consistency with how the scenario would likely unfold in real life. For the biological weapons and pandemic disease emphasis, for example, one narrative might relate to the presentation of a patient suspected of carrying yersinia pestis at a hospital in the United States. The document would map out a daily progression of the disease consistent with epidemiological patterns and the central actors in the story: perhaps a U.S. citizen, potential connections to an international terrorist organization, intelligence on the individual’s actions overseas, etc. The scenario would be designed specifically to stress the intersection of public health and counterterrorism/biological weapons threats, and the associated (shifting) authorities, thus requiring the disease initially to look like an innocent presentation (for example, by someone who has traveled from overseas), but then for the storyline to move into the second realm (awareness that this was in fact a concerted attack). A second storyline might relate to a different disease outbreak in another part of the country, with the aim of introducing the Stafford Act/Insurrection Act line and raising federalism concerns. The role of the military here and Title 10/Title 32 questions would similarly arise – with the storyline designed to raise these questions. A third storyline might simply be well developed noise in the system: reports of suspicious activity potentially linked to radioactive material, with the actors linked to nuclear material. A fourth storyline would focus perhaps on container security concerns overseas, progressing through newspaper reports, about containers showing up in local police precincts. State politics would constitute the fifth storyline, raising question of the political pressures on the state officials in the exercise. Here, ethnic concerns, student issues, economic conditions, and community policing concerns might become the focus. The sixth storyline could be further noise in the system – loosely based on current events at the time. In addition to the storylines, a certain amount of noise is injected into the system through press releases, weather updates, private communications, and the like. The five to six storylines, prepared by the Control Team in consultation with experts, become the basis for the preparation of scenario “injects:” i.e., newspaper articles, VNN broadcasts, reports from NGOs, private communications between officials, classified information, government leaks, etc., which, when put together, constitute a linear progression. These are all written and/or filmed prior to the exercise. The progression is then mapped in an hourly chart for the unfolding events over a multi-day period. All six scenarios are placed on the same chart, in six columns, giving the Control Team a birds-eye view of the progression. C. How It Works As for the nuts and bolts of the simulation itself, it traditionally begins outside of class, in the evening, on the grounds that national security crises often occur at inconvenient times and may well involve limited sleep and competing demands.171 Typically, a phone call from a Control Team member posing in a role integral to one of the main storylines, initiates play. Students at this point have been assigned dedicated simulation email addresses and provided access to the cyber portal. The portal itself gives each team the opportunity to converse in a “classified” domain with other team members, as well as access to a public AP wire and broadcast channel, carrying the latest news and on which press releases or (for the media roles) news stories can be posted. The complete universe of legal authorities required for the simulation is located on the cyber portal in the Digital Archives, as are forms required for some of the legal instruments (saving students the time of developing these from scratch in the course of play). Additional “classified” material – both general and SCI – has been provided to the relevant student teams. The Control Team has access to the complete site. For the next two (or three) days, outside of student initiatives (which, at their prompting, may include face-to-face meetings between the players), the entire simulation takes place through the cyber portal. The Control Team, immediately active, begins responding to player decisions as they become public (and occasionally, through monitoring the “classified” communications, before they are released). This time period provides a ramp-up to the third (or fourth) day of play, allowing for the adjustment of any substantive, student, or technology concerns, while setting the stage for the breaking crisis. The third (or fourth) day of play takes place entirely at Georgetown Law. A special room is constructed for meetings between the President and principals, in the form of either the National Security Council or the Homeland Security Council, with breakout rooms assigned to each of the agencies involved in the NSC process. Congress is provided with its own physical space, in which meetings, committee hearings and legislative drafting can take place. State government officials are allotted their own area, separate from the federal domain, with the Media placed between the three major interests. The Control Team is sequestered in a different area, to which students are not admitted. At each of the major areas, the cyber portal is publicly displayed on large flat panel screens, allowing for the streaming of video updates from the media, AP wire injects, articles from the students assigned to represent leading newspapers, and press releases. Students use their own laptop computers for team decisions and communication. As the storylines unfold, the Control Team takes on a variety of roles, such as that of the President, Vice President, President’s chief of staff, governor of a state, public health officials, and foreign dignitaries. Some of the roles are adopted on the fly, depending upon player responses and queries as the storylines progress. Judges, given full access to each player domain, determine how effectively the students accomplish the national security goals. The judges are themselves well-experienced in the practice of national security law, as well as in legal education. They thus can offer a unique perspective on the scenarios confronted by the students, the manner in which the simulation unfolded, and how the students performed in their various capacities. At the end of the day, the exercise terminates and an immediate hotwash is held, in which players are first debriefed on what occurred during the simulation. Because of the players’ divergent experiences and the different roles assigned to them, the students at this point are often unaware of the complete picture. The judges and formal observers then offer reflections on the simulation and determine which teams performed most effectively. Over the next few classes, more details about the simulation emerge, as students discuss it in more depth and consider limitations created by their knowledge or institutional position, questions that arose in regard to their grasp of the law, the types of decision-making processes that occurred, and the effectiveness of their – and other students’ – performances. Reflection papers, paired with oral briefings, focus on the substantive issues raised by the simulation and introduce the opportunity for students to reflect on how to create opportunities for learning in the future. The course then formally ends.172 Learning, however, continues beyond the temporal confines of the semester. Students who perform well and who would like to continue to participate in the simulations are invited back as members of the control team, giving them a chance to deepen their understanding of national security law. Following graduation, a few students who go in to the field are then invited to continue their affiliation as National Security Law fellows, becoming increasingly involved in the evolution of the exercise itself. This system of vertical integration helps to build a mentoring environment for the students while they are enrolled in law school and to create opportunities for learning and mentorship post-graduation. It helps to keep the exercise current and reflective of emerging national security concerns. And it builds a strong community of individuals with common interests. CONCLUSION The legal academy has, of late, been swept up in concern about the economic conditions that affect the placement of law school graduates. The image being conveyed, however, does not resonate in every legal field. It is particularly inapposite to the burgeoning opportunities presented to students in national security. That the conversation about legal education is taking place now should come as little surprise. Quite apart from economic concern is the traditional introspection that follows American military engagement. It makes sense: law overlaps substantially with political power, being at once both the expression of government authority and the effort to limit the same. The one-size fits all approach currently dominating the conversation in legal education, however, appears ill-suited to address the concerns raised in the current conversation. Instead of looking at law across the board, greater insight can be gleaned by looking at the specific demands of the different fields themselves. This does not mean that the goals identified will be exclusive to, for instance, national security law, but it does suggest there will be greater nuance in the discussion of the adequacy of the current pedagogical approach. With this approach in mind, I have here suggested six pedagogical goals for national security. For following graduation, students must be able to perform in each of the areas identified – (1) understanding the law as applied, (2) dealing with factual chaos and uncertainty, (3) obtaining critical distance, (4) developing nontraditional written and oral communication skills, (5) exhibiting leadership, integrity, and good judgment in a high-stakes, highly-charged environment, and (6) creating continued opportunities for self-learning. They also must learn how to integrate these different skills into one experience, to ensure that they will be most effective when they enter the field. The problem with the current structures in legal education is that they fall short, in important ways, from helping students to meet these goals. Doctrinal courses may incorporate a range of experiential learning components, such as hypotheticals, doctrinal problems, single exercises, extended or continuing exercises, and tabletop exercises. These are important classroom devices. The amount of time required for each varies, as does the object of the exercise itself. But where they fall short is in providing a more holistic approach to national security law which will allow for the maximum conveyance of required skills. Total immersion simulations, which have not yet been addressed in the secondary literature for civilian education in national security law, may provide an important way forward. Such simulations also cure shortcomings in other areas of experiential education, such as clinics and moot court. It is in an effort to address these concerns that I developed the simulation model above. NSL Sim 2.0 certainly is not the only solution, but it does provide a starting point for moving forward. The approach draws on the strengths of doctrinal courses and embeds a total immersion simulation within a course. It makes use of technology and physical space to engage students in a multi-day exercise, in which they are given agency and responsibility for their decision making, resulting in a steep learning curve. While further adaptation of this model is undoubtedly necessary, it suggests one potential direction for the years to come.
Linking the ballot to a should question in combination with USFG simulation teaches the skills to organize pragmatic consequences and philosophical values into a course of action
http://static.sdu.dk/mediafiles/Files/Information_til/Studerende_ved_SDU/Din_uddannelse/phd_hum/afhandlinger/2009/ThorkilHanghoej.pdf Thorkild Hanghøj, Copenhagen, 2008 Since this PhD project began in 2004, the present author has been affiliated with DREAM (Danish Research Centre on Education and Advanced Media Materials), which is located at the Institute of Literature, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. Research visits have taken place at the Centre for Learning, Knowledge, and Interactive Technologies (L-KIT), the Institute of Education at the University of Bristol and the institute formerly known as Learning Lab Denmark at the School of Education, University of Aarhus, where I currently work as an assistant professor.
Joas’ re-interpretation of Dewey’s pragmatism as a “theory of situated creativity” raises a critique of humans as purely rational agents that navigate instrumentally through meansends- schemes (Joas, 1996: 133f). This critique is particularly important when trying to understand how games are enacted and validated within the realm of educational institutions that by definition are inscribed in the great modernistic narrative of “progress” where nation states, teachers and parents expect students to acquire specific skills and competencies (Popkewitz, 1998; cf. chapter 3). However, as Dewey argues, the actual doings of educational gaming cannot be reduced to rational means-ends schemes. Instead, the situated interaction between teachers, students, and learning resources are played out as contingent re-distributions of means, ends and ends in view, which often make classroom contexts seem “messy” from an outsider’s perspective (Barab & Squire, 2004). 4.2.3. Dramatic rehearsal The two preceding sections discussed how Dewey views play as an imaginative activity of educational value, and how his assumptions on creativity and playful actions represent a critique of rational means-end schemes. For now, I will turn to Dewey’s concept of dramatic rehearsal, which assumes that social actors deliberate by projecting and choosing between various scenarios for future action. Dewey uses the concept dramatic rehearsal several times in his work but presents the most extensive elaboration in Human Nature and Conduct: Deliberation is a dramatic rehearsal (in imagination) of various competing possible lines of action… [It] is an experiment in finding out what the various lines of possible action are really like (...) Thought runs ahead and foresees outcomes, and thereby avoids having to await the instruction of actual failure and disaster. An act overtly tried out is irrevocable, its consequences cannot be blotted out. An act tried out in imagination is not final or fatal. It is retrievable (Dewey, 1922: 132-3). This excerpt illustrates how Dewey views the process of decision making (deliberation) through the lens of an imaginative drama metaphor. Thus, decisions are made through the imaginative projection of outcomes, where the “possible competing lines of action” are resolved through a thought experiment. Moreover, Dewey’s compelling use of the drama metaphor also implies that decisions cannot be reduced to utilitarian, rational or mechanical exercises, but that they have emotional, creative and personal qualities as well. Interestingly, there are relatively few discussions within the vast research literature on Dewey of his concept of dramatic rehearsal. A notable exception is the phenomenologist Alfred Schütz, who praises Dewey’s concept as a “fortunate image” for understanding everyday rationality (Schütz, 1943: 140). Other attempts are primarily related to overall discussions on moral or ethical deliberation (Caspary, 1991, 2000, 2006; Fesmire, 1995, 2003; Rönssön, 2003; McVea, 2006). As Fesmire points out, dramatic rehearsal is intended to describe an important phase of deliberation that does not characterise the whole process of making moral decisions, which includes “duties and contractual obligations, short and long-term consequences, traits of character to be affected, and rights” (Fesmire, 2003: 70). Instead, dramatic rehearsal should be seen as the process of “crystallizing possibilities and transforming them into directive hypotheses” (Fesmire, 2003: 70). Thus, deliberation can in no way guarantee that the response of a “thought experiment” will be successful. But what it can do is make the process of choosing more intelligent than would be the case with “blind” trial-and-error (Biesta, 2006: 8). The notion of dramatic rehearsal provides a valuable perspective for understanding educational gaming as a simultaneously real and imagined inquiry into domain-specific scenarios. Dewey defines dramatic rehearsal as the capacity to stage and evaluate “acts”, which implies an “irrevocable” difference between acts that are “tried out in imagination” and acts that are “overtly tried out” with real-life consequences (Dewey, 1922: 132-3). This description shares obvious similarities with games as they require participants to inquire into and resolve scenario-specific problems (cf. chapter 2). On the other hand, there is also a striking difference between moral deliberation and educational game activities in terms of the actual consequences that follow particular actions. Thus, when it comes to educational games, acts are both imagined and tried out, but without all the real-life consequences of the practices, knowledge forms and outcomes that are being simulated in the game world. Simply put, there is a difference in realism between the dramatic rehearsals of everyday life and in games, which only “play at” or simulate the stakes and risks that characterise the “serious” nature of moral deliberation, i.e. a real-life politician trying to win a parliamentary election experiences more personal and emotional risk than students trying to win the election scenario of The Power Game. At the same time, the lack of real-life consequences in educational games makes it possible to design a relatively safe learning environment, where teachers can stage particular game scenarios to be enacted and validated for educational purposes. In this sense, educational games are able to provide a safe but meaningful way of letting teachers and students make mistakes (e.g. by giving a poor political presentation) and dramatically rehearse particular “competing possible lines of action” that are relevant to particular educational goals (Dewey, 1922: 132). Seen from this pragmatist perspective, the educational value of games is not so much a question of learning facts or giving the “right” answers, but more a question of exploring the contingent outcomes and domain-specific processes of problem-based scenarios.
Debate over a controversial point of action creates argumentative stasis—that’s key to avoid a devolution of debate into competing truth claims, which destroys the decision-making benefits of the activity
Steinberg and Freeley ‘13
David Director of Debate at U Miami, Former President of CEDA, officer, American Forensic Association and National Communication Association. Lecturer in Communication studies and rhetoric. Advisor to Miami Urban Debate League, Masters in Communication, and Austin, JD, Suffolk University, attorney who focuses on criminal, personal injury and civil rights law, Argumentation and Debate
Critical Thinking for Reasoned Decision Making, Thirteen Edition
Debate is a means of settling differences, so there must be a controversy, a difference of opinion or a conflict of interest before there can be a debate. If everyone is in agreement on a feet or value or policy, there is no need or opportunity for debate; the matter can be settled by unanimous consent. Thus, for example, it would be pointless to attempt to debate "Resolved: That two plus two equals four,” because there is simply no controversy about this statement. Controversy is an essential prerequisite of debate. Where there is no clash of ideas, proposals, interests, or expressed positions of issues, there is no debate. Controversy invites decisive choice between competing positions. Debate cannot produce effective decisions without clear identification of a question or questions to be answered. For example, general argument may occur about the broad topic of illegal immigration. How many illegal immigrants live in the United States? What is the impact of illegal immigration and immigrants on our economy? What is their impact on our communities? Do they commit crimes? Do they take jobs from American workers? Do they pay taxes? Do they require social services? Is it a problem that some do not speak English? Is it the responsibility of employers to discourage illegal immigration by not hiring undocumented workers? Should they have the opportunity to gain citizenship? Does illegal immigration pose a security threat to our country? Do illegal immigrants do work that American workers are unwilling to do? Are their rights as workers and as human beings at risk due to their status? Are they abused by employers, law enforcement, housing, and businesses? How are their families impacted by their status? What is the moral and philosophical obligation of a nation state to maintain its borders? Should we build a wall on the Mexican border, establish a national identification card, or enforce existing laws against employers? Should we invite immigrants to become U.S. citizens? Surely you can think of many more concerns to be addressed by a conversation about the topic area of illegal immigration. Participation in this “debate” is likely to be emotional and intense. However, it is not likely to be productive or useful without focus on a