Today I asked my Junior Certs to work in groups and spend five minutes brainstorming issues that cause heated arguments between people. I want them to write debates but I also want them to research something they’re interested in; to discuss something they feel passionate about.

So it was really refreshing to see how on the zeitgeist they are – the list of topics they came up with included euthanasia, abortion, gun control, flying the British flag outside Belfast City Hall, budget cuts and stem cell research. All hotly debated topics on the airwaves these days…

There was a mention of gay marraige but a show of hands revealed they were all in favour of it so we won’t spark any debate on that one then! All I got was shock that gay couples don’t have exactly the same rights as heterosexuals and a discussion of what the initials in LGBT stand for.

We also had a few less serious ones: reality TV, mobile phones at school, school uniforms, branded clothing and internet addiction!

All going well tomorrow should see them figuring out arguments for and against some of these issues and taking a stance. Here’s hoping we can get some heated disagreements going 😉

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