Change for the Good of All – Activity Four

Debating climate change

Focus question: Is environmental sustainability just an ideal or an achievable common good which society can work towards? Note: If students have not completed the lesson ‘Understanding the Common Good in Australian Democracy’, it should be used as an introductory exercise to this activity.

  1. Using the combined groups, instruct students to conduct a SWOT analysis of the climate change issue. Students should record the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in communities achieving a sustainable relationship with the environment.
  2. Inform the class that they will debate the focus question for this activity, with representatives from half the groups taking the affirmative and the other half the negative. They should use their SWOT analyses to bolster their respective positions and to counter their opponents.
  3. Students not directly participating in the debate should agree on the design of a scoring sheet which awards points to the debaters. The debaters should be made aware of the criteria before the debate. Points should be awarded for the strength of research, correct use of concepts, wider knowledge and the structure of the arguments and the countering of opposing arguments.

Introduction | Activity One | Activity Two | Activity Three | Activity Four | Resources