Student Mock Debate: French National Assembly of 1789
Patty Kleeb, NJC History Teacher
As part of our unit on the Atlantic Revolutions, students researched and carried out a Model UN-style role play where each student took on the character of a historic revolutionary leader. Alex C. was Thomas Jefferson and Daniella W. was Olympe de Gouges, a French pioneer of rights for women. Students imagined they were all delegates to the French National Assembly of 1789, and the topic of debate was: what kind of government should France have going forward? Who should be allowed to vote? On what principles should we base our new government?
Neither Jefferson nor Olympe de Gouges were, in reality, delegates to this assembly, but I wanted to bring in at least one woman's voice and the voices of some leaders of the revolutions that took place at the same time in the Americas.
The debate was a lot of fun, even though the other delegates - remaining true to the roles they were playing - voted down Olympe de Gouges demand for equal rights for women! In the end, they were unable to arrive at a compromise that everyone could agree on - just like in real life.
Neuchâtel Junior College offers the unique opportunity to study Canadian curriculum abroad. While living in Switzerland in a French community, students enjoy an international education through travel and experiential learning in Europe. Gap year and Grade 12 high school students gain international experience and develop independence and life skills that prepare them for university and the global workplace.
A Canadian high school in Switzerland | Grade 12 & Gap
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