P is for Confidence: Philosophical Questions Build Student Confidence

Deborah Brown, English, Chambers High School

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


This curriculum unit for this Speech and Debate I class focused on building student confidence through philosophical inquiry. For some teenagers, watching the latest influencer or Tik Tok personality share some aspect of his or her life may seem enthralling—they look great, they sound great and the amount of likes and followers they have, in the eyes of today’s
teenagers—equals greatness! This greatness can for some teenagers spell confidence. Confidence packaged in an emoji data tracker of likes, followers, and retweets. But that is not confidence. Confidence is not based on the approval of people who are considered virtual strangers outside
of a video screen; confidence is already within each of them. For this Speech and Debate I course, students will practice using philosophical methods of question generating and inquiry to strengthen their inner confidence, that is, their voice, and their ideas in order to explore issues
that require them to generate questions as they search for those answers. Searching for answers to questions that are crafted by them for issues that matter to them is what directly builds their confidence and gives them a clear purpose for communicating with their peers about topics that
matter to them. This unit seeks to address building teen confidence through philosophical inquiry.