How learning discussion skills can deliver social change

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In the second of a three-part series, Oli de Botton explores how his students, and society, can benefit from learning discussion skills

Oracy can create social change

So Achilles is the greatest warrior, but he is killed by Paris who seems pretty weak? And is he a god or not?”

“In all these stories, the people know what’s going to happen and they do the dangerous things anyway. Why? And why do the gods even care, given they live forever?”

“Why are most of the fighters men although a lot of the gods are women?”

Just some of the questions Year 8 asked me when I was covering their English lessons last term. They were studying Homer’s The Iliad through the modern re-imagining of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

The questions themselves – almost ...

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