The issues of environmental protection and indigenous rights addressed in the eco-thriller novel Jabujicaba and its sequel Caretta Caretta need greater discussion. We believe that lively debate can give rise to new insights and positive action. Debating means you have to step out of your own mindset in order to defend a given topic.
Debates with a twist
Our Jabuji debates take this challenge one step further – our debaters need to argue from the perspectives of our fictional characters. Some of these characters have value systems which are greatly removed from our Western culture. The perspective of the Amerindians for instance in Jabujicaba and their relationship to the rainforests on which they depend, is incompatible with a capitalist perspective.
There is a body of research which suggests that reading literary fiction promotes emotional learning. The reader identifies with characters and attempts to understand their motivations. This develops empathy, a skill which is useful for everything we do because we are social animals. In our multi-cultural, complex world, it is even more important to understand how others see the world.
A pioneering competition
Our pilot debate based on Jabujicaba was hosted by Eton College on 16 March 2015 and ran in partnership with Burnham Grammar. It successfully tested the model and was scaled up to a national debating competition, again hosted by Eton College in 2015/6. This year the theme is coral reefs which have been called the ‘rainforests of the sea’.
Find out more
- The Jabuji Debates 2016/17
- What teachers and pupils said about the pilot debate
- Learn about rainforest issues