DEBATING AND PUBLIC SPEAKING TRAINING FOR PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS: EXPERIENCES AND ADVANTAGES

E. Miller

Achva Academic Collegae (ISRAEL)
Using debate and public speaking (PS) training in preservice teacher education could serve as an effective pedagogical tool to for promoting higher order and critical thinking (Camp & Schnader, 2010; Ng et al., 2004; Roy & Macchiette, 2005; Ryan & College, 2006; Zare & Othman, 2015). This presentation is based on data collected during an undergraduate course for first year students in a teacher preparation program. Since rhetoric, PS and debating are often not an integral part of national curricula, few teachers in training have prior formal experience or training in public speaking and debating. The research on using debate and PS as a pedagogical tool to promote learning is scarce (Alen, Dominguez & de Carlos, 2015; Erduran, Ardac, & Yamaci-Guzel, 2006; Ng, Lan, & They, 2004; Munakata, 2010; Onen, 2016; Sadler, 2006). Debate and prepared speeches can help students gaining broad, multi-faceted knowledge cutting across several disciplines, increase students self-efficacy and self-esteem, provide the students with an engaging, active, learner-centered activity, encourage team collaboration, etc.

Research question:
Does debating and PS training stimulate students thinking, self confidence and self-efficacy in frontal teaching and in using it as a pedagogical tool in their teaching?.

Methodology:
Questionnaires were completed by 25 students at the beginning and end of the course. These questionnaires included items on prior experience with debating and PS, self-efficacy on speaking in front of the class and on their interest and confidence in using debate and PS in their future teaching. While most of the items were multiple choice items, some of the items were open-ended questions, in order to elicit text-based, qualitative data.

Results:
Most of the students perceived debate as an innovative approach to teacher training, as well as for classroom teaching This new approach to teaching also increased students motivation, self-efficacy in speaking in front of the classroom and incorporating these tools to their classroom teaching. Implications on implementing debating and PS in teacher training course will be discussed in the presentation.