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Advocating against advocacy projects

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Colin Dodd

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Advocating against advocacy projects

Students have to practice for weeks in order to be prepared for their speech

Students have to practice for weeks in order to be prepared for their speech

Colin Dodd

Students have to practice for weeks in order to be prepared for their speech

Colin Dodd

Colin Dodd

Students have to practice for weeks in order to be prepared for their speech

To advocate for something is to publicly recommend or support a side of an issue. While most agree that knowing how to fight for your side on an issue is important, I don’t think a random speech or presentation in the middle of junior year teaches me how to do that.

All students in their junior year of high school have to pick a topic from a list that is unique depending on their teacher. They must then take their topic and pick a side to advocate for in the form of either an essay, presentation or speech. This ends up being a major portion of your second semester grade.

I feel that this is a major waste of time. Generally, being involved and fighting for issues doesn’t include writing and performing, and shouldn’t be taught as if it does. It just feels like a research project with an inflated grade percentage.

They barely make students feel involved and make them minimally more knowledgeable about whatever topic they have. This only corresponds with students who actually did all their research, and the knowledgeable feeling only lasts for about a week.

Interest in your project and the message it’s meant to send will fade as soon as you hit “turn in” or finish the presentation. You force yourself to become interested and then as soon as your grade is set, it doesn’t matter anymore. I ended up forgetting what mine was in a week.

It’s great that an attempt is being made, but this isn’t the way to get students involved in real-life issues. The advocacy projects right now are just time wasters that have too much weight and cause more stress than needed.

It might be better if there were small projects throughout the year to keep kids consistently involved. They could be small, one-day debates rather than weeks of work and presentations.

It’s important to feel involved and important to actually be involved. Maybe we should find a way that doesn’t cripple people with stress.

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Advocating against advocacy projects