[eDebate] Purpose of Debate and Topic!
db8coach at cox.net
Wed Jun 1 13:06:47 CDT 2005
I will put in my $.02 worth just for the heck of it.
So what is the purpose of the topic and what is good education?
The purpose of the topic is as a jumpoff point for an equitable competition.
And good education is like art. It is different for everyone.
And the ambiguity of the last statement is why the first statement is so damned important.
Are we attempting to be a training ground for future policy making? What is the purpose of this activity?
Is there value in just learning the blueprint of politics?
Well, sure, those are all cool, but the competition is pretty much first and foremost. If not, then why the hell are we still giving out trophies and awards, counting points towards a championship, and crowning national champions???
I think that people tend to forget (or ignore) this little tidbit in all the discussions so far. Education is great, and most debates are educational in one way or another. But NOT all debates are a fair and equitable competition.
If the resolution starts out with forcing us into one ideological view, the resolution does not serve as a place to explore possible solutions to real-world problems.
Perhaps not, but it usually makes the competition more fair. It gives the negative some FAIR ground so that they have some predictable and winable arguments.
What about negative ground? I do not think that we should construct resolutions for the sole purpose of protecting negative ground. I think that you should negate what the aff says, and their ideas, not what the resolution states. Yes, limiting the area we discuss is an option, but it does not have to occur at the expense of trapping the affirmative so the negative can know what they have to say. This is not skeet shooting. It seems like we are caging the affirmative to make the hunt fair.
Yeah, it's called a competition. It is supposed to be fair.
Which comes first? Fairness or education? This may be the core of the debate.
And I think as long as we call it a competition and give awards and championship points, fairness has to come first. And rules that protect fairness (like the resolution or topicality) MUST be adhered to.
Everyone likes to use the phrase "small school". Well, I think Bakersfield is about as small school as it gets. Our best competitive year, over the past several topics, has been treaties. That was a rez that literally wrote the plan text for everyone. We were able to prepare for the majority of our debates and we let the debate skills determine the winner. I would like to see resolutions like that EVERY year.
Absent that, however, I still want to narrow the topic as much as possible.
Look, ground is not always fair, equitable, winable ground. Protecting the negative should be paramount because there will ALWAYS be education if you make it so.
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