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Educator Tools: Exploring Point of View

By examining point of view in depth, students learn to critically evaluate statements made by experts and other participants in a debate on an issue. Some individuals or organizations might be advancing a particular viewpoint, while others take a more neutral position, seeking merely to inform the debate without advocating a particular point of view. Some questions to consider in analyzing statements: Does the individual have a personal stake in the outcome of a controversy? Or is his or her intent merely to inform? How does knowing an individual's point of view affect the impact of that person's statement?


The following definitions will help students in assessing viewpoint.

Bias: Prejudice or preconceived notion that causes a person to favor one person or side of the debate over another.
Moderate: Holding views that are neither excessive nor extreme.
Neutral: Not aligned with any side in a controversy, or with a particular political or ideological group.
Objective: Without bias. An objective position aims to be based on fact, rather than on personal feelings or prejudices.
Subjective: With bias or preconceived views. A subjective opinion is more affected by personal viewpoint or experiences than by fact.


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