(WXYZ) — You could say school was in session as Americans watched the presidential debate Tuesday night. Many of them were younger students who took plenty of notes.
“I really felt that debate was an example of what not to do in terms of both candidates interrupting each other.” says University Liggett junior Ella Harvey.
The student at the Grosse Pointe Woods school says she watched as both sides displayed behavior that’s not effective in a debate. Instead, her classes have taught her “calm, balanced communication is the best way to truly get your point across.”
Scott Pangrazzi teaches electoral process focusing on the 2020 presidential election, to 11th and 12th graders.
“You really need to understand your opponents policies. So in the moment you can challenge if you feel they are misrepresenting your policies, or their own.” Pangrazzi said.
He adds, candidates must break thrrough to an audience and persuade them to believe in their ideas.
“They put out policy and statements throughout the course of the debate, but often people aren’t paying as much attention to that.” he says.
Pangrazzi also teaches attacking a person as a strategy can backfire.
“What are you giving up to take that more aggressive approach because it’s less likely to be informative.” says Pangrazzi. His courses encourage respect of both one’s opponent and the process.
“We need to be able to listen to people as our world is getting more polarized and controversial. Especially, with my generation cancel culture is a really big thing.” Ella said.
Scott’s class will be paying close attention to the remaining debates, including the VP debate coming up soon.