EBA Grad Class

Introduction to Evidence-Based Argumentation and the Common Core Graduate Course

Summer 2017

August 7 – 11, 2017, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (2 graduate credits)

To register online, click here. Click here to pay. 

The Boston Debate League is pleased to offer its Evidence-Based Argumentation (EBA) 2-credit graduate course during the summer of 2017.  It is open to teachers of any content area.

Course Information:

Dates: August 7 – 11, 2017

Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday

Sections: Depending on enrollment, we will hold two separate sections (high school and middle school).  We will also often break out into content specific groups (STEM, Humanities, and ESL/Spanish).


-EBA Partner School Teachers: $200 for course credit; FREE if taking for PDPs

-BPS Teachers (Not in EBA Partner Schools): $500 for course credit; $350 if not taking for credit

-Teachers Outside of BPS: $1,000 for course credit; $850 if not taking for credit

In addition to the 2 graduate credits if you choose to take for credit, the fee covers:

-Binder of subject-specific EBA materials

-Access to Dropbox and Google Drive of electronic resources across all subjects

-Lunch every day

Credit Options:

-2 graduate credits through Framingham State University – open to all

-36 PDPs (Professional Development Points) – available for BPS teachers

Priority Registration Deadline: June 20, 2017


Course Content:

Evidence-Based Argumentation (EBA) is a professional development program that supports teachers in all disciplines to create a classroom environment where students regularly practice the 21st century skills of critical thinking, analysis, evaluation, questioning, and problem solving. Teachers guide students through a progression of skills as they work toward producing sustained, multifaceted arguments that draw on evidence from a range of sources and are organized around a central thesis.

EBA is not a prescribed curriculum organized around specific content modules. Rather, it gives teachers a set of tools that allow them to meaningfully involve student perspective in whatever content they were already planning to cover within their district or school curricular frameworks. From daily ten minute activities to full-period debates, EBA initiatives can take many forms depending on content pacing requirements and students’ developmental needs. All activities are especially designed to meaningfully engage all students in large classrooms. This formalized pedagogical framework helps teachers create the classroom environments needed for students to practice and master the skills outlined in their Common Core-focused curricula.

EBA and the Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards place a new emphasis on teaching argumentation. Their guiding principle holds that students must master a set of core academic skills to be successful in and beyond high school. Chief among those skills is the ability to analyze multiple texts in order to discern and create arguments founded on solid evidence.

EBA instructional activities are geared toward developing student skills that are high priorities for college and career readiness according to the CCSS. Specifically, EBA instructional tools support student mastery of the following CCR Anchor Standards:

-Writing 1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

-Writing 4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

-Writing 9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

-Reading 1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

-Reading 2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

-Reading 8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

The Boston Debate League’s EBA and the Common Core course earns high praise from participating teachers.

With teachers inside and outside the BPS school district as well as from all subject areas, course participants unanimously agreed:

-100% of teachers who took this course believed their students would be more engaged on days when they use EBA activities.

-100% of teachers who took this course believed EBA is an effective way to help students understand class content and determine their level of understanding.

-100% of teachers who took this course believed EBA is an effective way to improve oral language skills.

-100% of teachers who took this course believed they would teach more effectively and enjoy teaching more by using EBA activities.

-100% of teachers who took this course recommend it to other teachers in their school.

 In their own words…

  “The combined lectures, text and practicing of EBA activities. Actually planning of full debate and experiencing full debate was extremely helpful. Working in small groups with fellow teachers sharing lesson plans and critiquing each other’s work was so informative. This was the best professional development I have been a part of during my BPS career.” (BPS ELL Teacher)

 “I have been involved in debate since my own high school years and I really thought I would know everything that this training had to offer. But this training showed me just how poorly I was teaching these skills, how confused I was, and now how to do it right.” (BPS ELA Teacher)

“I really enjoyed the PD. I found it extremely helpful and engaging. I really enjoyed doing the debates, and am excited to incorporate this into my classroom.” (BPS Science Teacher)

 “Great course! Gave a structure, language, and clear template for how to proceed implementing EBA activities in the classroom.”  (Math Teacher)

For a printable version of the above information, click below:

2017 EBA Grad Class Information



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