If you are having any difficulty using this website, please contact the Help Desk at Help@nullHofstra.edu or 516-463-7777 or Student Access Services at SAS@nullhofstra.edu or 516-463-7075. Please identify the webpage address or URL and the specific problems you have encountered and we will address the issue.

What is Join the Debates?

Join the Debates is a project led by EXPLO in conjunction with PBS Education and in cooperation with the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Join the Debates
EXPLO - Learning Through Exploration
Commission on Presidential Debate
PBS Education

Hofstra University joins Washington University in St. Louis, Longwood University and the University of Nevada at Los Vegas in offering Join the Debates! To our local high schools.

THIS ELECTION SEASON, MIDDLE, HIGH SCHOOL, AND COLLEGE STUDENTS FROM ACROSS THE UNITED STATES WILL PRACTICE EACH WEEK ENGAGING THEIR PEERS IN SUBSTANTIVE AND CIVIL CONVERSATION ON ISSUES IMPORTANT TO THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES AND ELECTION. JOIN THE DEBATES SHOWS WHY IT’S IMPORTANT AND TEACHES YOU HOW TO DO IT.

How it Works

For at least six weeks leading up to the U.S. presidential election, students will be leading and facilitating engaging discussions with their peers in classrooms across America. Join the Debates provides teachers and students curricular materials with step-by-step instructions, wide-ranging discussion topics, and advice and suggestions from educators who have successfully used the collaborative discussion method that is at the heart of the project. The rules of engagement for Join the Debates are: 

  1. EVERYONE PARTICIPATES.
  2. STEP UP, STEP DOWN — NOTICE IF YOU ARE TAKING UP TOO MUCH OR NOT ENOUGH TALKING SPACE.
  3. DISAGREEMENT IS EXPECTED, BUT IT SHOULD BE DONE RESPECTFULLY.
  4. ALL STUDENTS HAVE A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE CONVERSATION.

 Through Join the Debates, participants will:

  •  Engage in controversy in a respectful, constructive manner.
  • Analyze an argument and follow up with thoughtful questions.
  • Articulate their opinions clearly, confidently, and with evidence.
  • Improve teamwork skills, leadership skills, negotiation skills, and observation skills.
  • Recognize/appreciate inclusivity and develop skills around encouraging others to speak.
  • Provide feedback and be reflective about both the conversation topic and format.
  • Point out connections between concepts/opinions expressed within the discussion and the world at large.

To request materials and find out more, visit www.jointhedebates.org