chapter  9
Using Debate to Develop Perspective Taking and Social Skills
ByM. Leslie Wade Zorwick
Pages 10

This chapter focuses on the importance of developing skills in perspective taking and points to debate as an incredibly effective mechanism for the development of these skills in students. It argues that debate also helps to develop meaningful social skills through regular practice in perspective taking. The chapter insists that debate offers a particularly strong opportunity to develop the cognitive skill of perspective taking. The idea of considering the thoughts and feelings of others seems to be a topic of interest to parents, educators, and governmental institutions. And, research increasingly suggests that the development of social skills, including empathy, is associated with a host of positive benefits across the lifespan. The debate develops the skills to understand why different entities could have a different way of thinking about a nuanced issue. Debate offers a context in which listening skills develop organically; there is a strong incentive to paying attention and an even stronger disincentive to "checking out".