Burnet News Club skills

The Burnet News Club enables young people to develop logic, curiosity, healthy scepticism, storytelling and negotiation skills. 

Determined to ask good questions

The desire to ask questions and understand more.

BeginningI think some issues are important and I want to know more about them.
EmergingI ask relevant questions to find out more about an issue.
DevelopingI see something important in every issue and I ask a range of relevant questions about that issue.
ExceedingI am not easily satisfied with answers. I push and pursue a coherent line of questioning to ‘dig deeper’ and get to questions about the underlying assumptions. I’m determined to follow through and develop lines of thought.
LeadingI respond to the answers I hear and follow new lines of questioning that emerge.

Being hard to deceive

The ability to query and challenge information rather than simply accepting it.

BeginningI sometimes query other opinions or arguments.
EmergingI can identify specific weaknesses in arguments where assumptions have been made.
DevelopingI rarely take opinions or arguments for granted. As well as identifying specific assumptions in an argument, I can challenge these by giving reasons why they might not be true.
ExceedingI welcome challenges to my own arguments and recognise that doubting my own argument will strengthen it.
LeadingI welcome challenges to the underlying values and beliefs of my arguments. I am willing to consider the truth of even these most preciously held beliefs although I may still conclude that I believe them.

The ability to make sense

The ability to use strong, relevant reasons to support opinions and form these into a coherent argument that makes sense.

BeginningI can identify reasons for my opinions most of the time.
EmergingI can give relevant reasons for my opinions.
DevelopingI give strong, developed, and relevant reasons for my opinions. I am able to identify assumptions that I’m making.
ExceedingI can order my reasons into a coherent argument: i.e. it is a whole argument rather than just a list of reasons. There are no unresolved contradictions.
LeadingI can improve on my arguments:  I can look for possible weaknesses in my argument and I can address these. For example, I can spot contradictions, assumptions or other possible objections that could be made to it.

The power to persuade

The ability to keep people’s attention and make them care about something by affecting their feelings.

BeginningI can communicate my argument clearly so others understand it.
EmergingI can capture and retain my audience’s attention.
DevelopingI can use my medium effectively (words, film, pictures, etc.) to create an emotional response in my audience.
ExceedingI can create a specific emotional response in my which helps to make my argument more persuasive.
LeadingMy storytelling skills always support rather than detract from my argument: style never ‘steals the show’ from the point I am making. I never compromise on truth for the sake of being persuasive.

The ability to find common ground

The ability to reach solutions or understanding with people who have different opinions to you.

BeginningI can summarise other people’s opinions.
EmergingI can identify my own underlying values and hopes, as well as simply the opinions that come from these.
DevelopingBy listening to others I am able to work out some of their underlying values or hopes that might be leading to their opinions.
ExceedingI make a stand for my values and hopes without being attached to particular opinions about how best to act on these. I understand that lots of different solutions might still be consistent with my underlying values and hopes.
LeadingI can find solutions that are consistent with others’ values and hopes as well as my own, by finding common ground. I am able to persuade others to see the merits of the solution by showing them how it addresses what really matters to them. I am open to solutions proposed by others.

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