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Classroom debates provide opportunities for leadership development to nursing students

Students in a classroom

Jane Dundas, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing carried out a study with students from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education to learn about the effectiveness of using debate as a classroom strategy for learning. The data collected from 40 teams of students straight after debates demonstrated that most found debates to be more engaging than lectures. Debates also offered the opportunity for development of essential leadership and management competencies such as shared decision making and respect thereby proving to be an effective teaching strategy.

This study was a result of feedback from some students on the previous leadership, management and teamwork module who felt that there was limited scope to apply skills in placements partly due to lack of confidence and partly due to anxiety about transition to qualification.

The study highlighted that the main benefits of using debates as a classroom tool were:

  • Improved teamwork
  • Increased confidence
  • Improved public speaking
  • Ability to defend an argument
  • Critical thinking skills

Read the full Nursing Standard report here.