confession of an ex-parli coach
Tue Oct 14 09:20:44 CDT 1997
The failure to include a serious research component into parliamentary
practice is your own; it has nothing to do with the format or nature of
the parliamentary event. It is also difficult to characterize what
transpires in many policy debates as anything other than argument by
assertion and judgmental claim...It is also possible to use policy debate
as training that serves "as a bridge/enteryway to fully substantive
debate", i.e., rigorous parliamentary debate...
Policy debate, parliamentary debate, and other debate forms, including
non-competitive public debate and discussion , promote the development of
critical thinking and persuasive speaking skills. Chauvinism regarding
these formats is simply confessionalism re some 'other' issue...
>Subject: confession of an ex-parli coach
>Sent: 10/14/97 4:30 PM
>Received: 10/14/97 10:41 AM
>From: Kevin Sargent, dksargen at FURMAN.EDU
>To: EDebate, EDEBATE at LIST.UVM.EDU
>I have read with interest the ongoing debate over the future of CEDA/NDT
>and the Parli phenomenon. Though I don't have the time to engage in the
>line-by-line with the many thoughtful post(ers) on this matter, I wanted to
>bring to bear the perspective of a team (Furman) that has switched FROM
>parli TO CEDA....Yes it IS possible!
>I inherited a Parli squad four years ago and went along with it for
>precisely the reasons that the Parli defenders have mentioned--budget, time
>constraints, general ease. But the fact is I just COULD NO LONGER justify
>doing Pali (at least exclusively) and call what I am doing as DOF
>"educational." Beyond all the skills that are never aquired by not having
>to do that oh so awful research (give me a break! that's the FUN of it
>all!), I found it very difficult to even teach the much vaunted "argument
>theory" without reference to EVIDENCE. Does anyone out there teach
>argument/debate classes where (research based) evidence is prohibited?!
>Despite claims about a more level playing field it seemed to me that most
>successful Parli debaters were ex-high school policy debaters that were
>doing their briefs without their cards. Of course tbe irony is they would
>never have been able to develop those abilities without having been trained
>in "REAL" debate. (OK, so I'm biased) Yes, t has been difficult for our
>young sqaud to cut the cards necessary to compete in today's CEDA/NDT world
>(note our unplanned absence from the Tarheel), but it's really a matter of
>developing the necessary focus, dedication, and organization that teams
>with the smallest budgets and libraries CAN do ( I hope :-).
>Now, though I don't think the educational benefits of Parli come close to
>those in CEDA/NDT, I'm not in favor of scorched earth reaction to the Parli
>movement. I think all the proposals for improving the novice/JV experiences
>are part of the answer. But I also favor co-option! Why can't Parli serve
>as a bridge/enteryway to fully substantive debate (CEDA/NDT)? In other
>words, I think the most traditional of programs need to bite the bullet and
>offer Parli divisions. Maybe Parli debaters will never want to "spew" (what
>a bogus term...GOOD fast teams do nothing of the kind), but I think that
>when they see the greater degree of rationality and depth of issue
>development in even a poor Novice round they might be tempted to make the
>leap to the real thing. In addition, linking Parli to CEDA/NDT tournaments
>offers Parli debaters the advantage of having judges who are more prone to
>evaluate the round on the ISSUES rather than elusive performative
>standards. In my time in Parli I saw a great deal of frustration with the
>state of judging.
>Well, I don't think I've added much new to the discussion but I just want
>everyone to know that not every team is abandoning the grand and stately
>ship of policy debate--a ship that sails on seas smiled upon by over 100
>years of tradition and experience.
>After all, there's got to be a morning after!
>Ready to Reason, Ready to Rock
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