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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

New course will provide communication training

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ALYSON OLIVER
campus editor

TCC’s new Argumentation & Debate course will teach skills that immediately apply to students’ lives in their social interactions, academic studies and careers, according to South Instructor of Speech Communication and Department Chair Paige Carr Lovelace.

South Speech Instructor Timothy Matyjewicz will teach the course during the spring semester. He said its purpose is to open up a dialogue between TCC students.

The course will cover contentious and challenging topics chosen at the beginning of the spring semester, according to Matyjewicz.

A major goal is to include a diverse range of students’ viewpoints while maintaining civility and courtesy during discussions.

People tend to think of debate as something negative or stressful, Carr Lovelace said. However, debates can be conducted in a way that is respectful, responsible and informed.

Putting a focus on communication is an important part of a good argument, according to Carr Lovelace.

“Really good debaters will listen,” Carr Lovelace said. “They’ll listen to understand.”

She explained that means keeping an open mind and being aware that there is always more to the opposing side than one might think.

Furthermore, good debaters consult a variety of sources and not only those that support their stance, Carr Lovelace said. They respond ethically and responsibly during the debate and know they won’t always get things perfect.

Another focus of the class will be critical reasoning.

This skill can be summarized as “the ability to think and solve problems in the most efficient manner,” according to Matyjewicz.

He said that because critical reasoning is

fundamental in every subject, this course will benefit students no matter where the future takes them.

And according to South Dean of Humanities Vicki Ansorge, critical thinking is crucial to argument, debate and communication.

A debater should know a topic well enough that they could argue both sides, Ansorge said.

She explained when someone knows the other side of an argument well enough, they can deconstruct it and better point out where it is faulty or why their perspective is better.

“The value of learning to think critically and research topics is something that we practice every day,” Ansorge said, “Learning to do it well, learning to do it with good sources, learning to really think through the argument is an asset that every student will use.”

The ability to communicate, in speech and writing, is a skill that is also highly in demand in the workplace, Ansorge said.

The course will also cover philosophy, especially that of Early Enlightenment thinkers, according to Ansorge.

She noted democracy is founded on Early Enlightenment ideas.

Many materials used in Argumentation & Debate will be taken from online or third- party resources. It was easier to find more affordable and subject-specific materials this way, Matyjewicz said.

“If you’re interested in taking coursework that is relevant, with some real life practical application, that will be very engaging and will also challenge your critical thinking skills, this would be the class for you,” Carr Lovelace said. With a laugh, she added, “And it will be anything but boring.”

Matyjewicz posed a question to students still on the fence about whether or not to register. “What is the best reason that you think you have not to take the ”think you have not to take the class?”

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