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The Big Debate

As part of preparing our students for their futures, we endeavour at UTC to introduce aspects from a variety of life’s topical issues. In order to achieve a full and well-rounded appreciation of life in Britain. We reflect and debate on issues that will directly affect the students, not only in the world of work but in their lives as a whole.

The content of the Big Debate has a combined content of political, social and religious aspects, from moral dilemmas to an appreciation and understanding of the political establishment. We try to create a ‘bigger picture’ mentality and encourage our students to understand their impact in society on several levels including the importance of citizenship.

This is conducted through the process of debate, but is used in conjunction with independent research skills, presentation and group work. This encourages empathy, understanding, articulation, increased vocabulary, independent working and research skills as well as continually developing their literacy skills.

We want to raise student confidence and self-esteem through the learning and understanding of important key issues, whilst also realising how important their thoughts and opinions are in these debates, in preparing them for their future understanding of the world around them.

In addition to our debates, we schedule outside speakers and workshops to come into the UTC and work with the students on specific topics.

We are always looking for ways to make the Big Debate as interesting and thought provoking as possible. If you have a good idea that you feel we could implement, please contact Georgina - Georgina.davies@utcreading.org.uk.

Example topics:

  • Introduction to democracy and alternative forms of government. Examples and implications of the role of government.
  • Ideal forms of government: How to create a political viewpoint. What priorities should a government have?
  • Responsibilities of the individual: What contribution does the individual have to society?
  • What are human rights? Compare and contrast to legal rights? Should one be prioritised?
  • How can you prioritise the individual? Through law and order, healthcare, political freedom, education…..
  • Religious or a secular society – understanding and implications/ benefits and disadvantages.
  • Does religion divide or unite a society? Can religion compliment an individual’s responsibility to its community?
  • Ignorance of other’s religious beliefs leads to conflict?
  • Conscience is the best way to make moral decisions? Introduction to situation ethics and its use to make decisions.
  • Moral decisions should be made using a variety of authorities?
  • Term summary: politics and religion are NOT mutually exclusive.

 

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