chapter  7
Using Debate to Improve Scientific Reasoning
ByFreddi-Jo Eisenberg Bruschke
Pages 12

This chapter addresses the unique relationship of debate to science education. It discusses some reasons behind the generation of false scientific controversy and how to avoid it when structuring a classroom debate. The chapter then describes the relationship between debate and scientific thinking, specifically between debate and the scientific method. It examines debate as a natural tool to assist implementing science education aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The chapter provides the suggestions for implementing debate in a science classroom and discusses how debate can both create better citizen scientists and help future scientists become better communicators. However, political and corporate interests easily perpetuate the myth of scientific controversy over the existence of human-accelerated climate change by misrepresenting data, cherry-picking, or simply inventing evidence. The general non-scientist population also demonstrates a lack of understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge and corresponding lack of faith in the way science develops and changes.