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Transcript of Debate
Local, Regional, National, International
As everyone here knows, preparation for debate not only involves intensive research but advanced critical thinking. Because debate is a contest of ideas—and because students have to switch sides during the debate from arguing against a proposition to defending it—debate forces students to anticipate their opponents' strongest arguments and rebut them with evidence.
That forces students to think deeply about both sides of an issue—and it teaches them to be good listeners. You can't refute an argument if you don't understand it
National Tournament with International Qualifiers
Those 4 years in debate were the educational foundation of everything I did...I'm saying the finest education I got from any of the institutions I attended, the foundation of my mind that I got during those 4 years of competitive debate; that is, 90% of the intellectual capacity that I operate with today--Fordham [University] for college, Fordham for the Ph.D., Harvard for law school--‐--‐all of that is the other 10%. – John Sexton, President of New York University
It was found that students with experience in competitive speech scored significantly higher (α = 0.03) on state administered writing tests and significantly higher (α = 0.07) on a nationally normed reading test.
Standardized Test Scores
Six noted improvements in their English and some identified specific ways that improvement occurred. One student, for example, noted that debate participation improved his ability to use English as a “working language” and to “recognize different accents.”
English Languge Ability
Bibi Ali, Deputy Education Chief, Kansas City
“I generally find that students who do lots of research are able to present very sound arguments and one of the things that we look for is evidence. When we say things we have to provide evidence and research helps us to find the evidence,” Alli asserted.
It is for this reason, she noted, that there is a need for teachers to encourage their students to be involved in debating activities, and by extension, foster the desire to better the practice of researching.
You know when you get that overwhelming desire to open your math textbook and immerse yourself in all of the theorems and equations? Yeah, me neither.
But I get that high all of the time with debate. I truly and genuinely stop my homework and pull on a pair of headphones and go at my debate work for solid hours, all of the time. People have taught me to never ignore that drive and let it carry you, because why disregard a drive to learn? Why put off a chance to better yourself? It’s not like the pile of English reading and Spanish annotation is waiting for you seductively, with a rose in its mouth.
No, there’s a reason why you’re constantly drawn to the debate files on your computer, and that’s because the activity promotes this unprecedented mindset to work, work, work, because that’s big on winning debates and progressing.
Love of Learning
"Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team." - President Barack Obama
Senator David Boren of Oklahoma
"As a Senator, my principal responsibilities are threefold: First, a Senator must do his best to reach logical policy conclusions about issues with which our nation is confronted. Second, a Senator should be able to effectively translate technical aspects of a position into language that will clearly communicate it to the public. Third, to be effective, a Senator must have the ability to persuade others to accept his policy conclusions. No aspects of my education was more useful in preparing me to meet these responsibilities than my training in speech and debate"
Admiral William Crowe, Four Star Admiral, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Ambassador to England
"Debate was the single most important activity I participated in at the Naval Academy"
"One of the most important decisions in my life was when the student body of Warren Central High School in Indianapolis decided I should not be a varsity cheerleader. It meant my weekends were free. For the next three years, I spent most Saturdays on the road with the largest National Forensic League chapter in the country. While the fifteen-year-old girl inside of me still mourns the lost letter sweater, the adult Jane is grateful to NFL for something much more important a - career"
Gerald Kogan, Circuit Court Judge
"I consider [debate] the most rewarding activity that I engaged in during my school years. Quite frankly, I considered it more important in preparing me for my life as a trial attorney than any of the academic courses that were required in order for me to get both my undergraduate and law degrees"
World-Wide PF & World Schools Debate
China Hungary Korea Mexico Singapore Taiwan United States
Local & National
MHL, MFL, NYCUDL, NFL, FUNDARAS
I can trace my debate career in arcs: for a time, I perform well, collecting shiny tokens of success. Then, one weekend, my success collapses in on itself. Maybe I hit a team so extraordinarily good, they make me feel like a fresh-faced novice again. Maybe I get a motion I know shamefully little about, like labour relations. Maybe I’m burned out and hungover, and my brain rebels. Whatever the cause, I fail miserably. I am profoundly humbled: by my lack of knowledge; by others’ skill; by the fickleness of luck. More than anything, debate has taught me humility. You are most likely to fail in the moments you feel invincible, so check yourself before you wreck yourself.
With confidence, I can state that the best decision I have made has been to become a member of the debate team.... My Common Application activity essay focused on my participation in debate, .. my Harvard interview spent approximately half the time discussing debate, both in terms of my high school participation and college interest.....Being around the motivated and talented youth of the debate community was the impetus for involvement in many other activities. Besides participating in debate, I run my own non-profit organization, the Teach to Learn Foundation, which aims to increase educational opportunities for the underprivileged. The StandUp For Kids organization recruited me to serve as Co-Executive Director of their New York City branch, which works with runaway youth.... I can draw a line from debate to every other part of my life, from my leadership positions, ability to write essays, and even my SAT score. I truly believe that my participation in debate and achievements are not simply a mere correlation but an obvious causation.
Best Decision Ever
National Forensic League & Harvard Debate Council
Supporting Debate Worldwide
US National Tournament
June 15-20, 2014
Honor Society & Recognition
Research & Preparation
& GUEST COUNTRY
NFL CHINA, NFL KOREA,
NFL JAPAN (APRIL 2014)
HUNGARY, SINGAPORE, TAIWAN GUEST COUNTRY PROGRAMS
Harvard Debate Invitational
Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshkops
395 students, 9 countries
In both preparation and participation, students have engaged in close reading of texts, drew inferences form texts, supported textual evidence, analyzed central ideas in arguments, prepared organized arguments, developed new vocabulary, examined rhetoric to advance arguments, delineated and evaluated arguments in a text, made assessments about valid reasoning, comprehended nonfiction, evaluated where the text leaves matters uncertain, provided complex analysis of interacting ideas, examined how a series of events interact with one another, determined an author’s point of view, arrived for a discussion prepared after having read and researched material, took notes on key issues, listened for alternative points of view, incorporated ideas into discussion, summarized points of agreement and disagreement, responded to diverse perspectives, presented information, demonstrated a command of formal English, heard a large range of positions on their topics, integrated multiple sources of information, and considered word choice.
Debate & Argumentation Textbook