[eDebate] to be more blunt

Joe Patrice joepatrice
Tue Jul 17 14:03:07 CDT 2007

Neil Berch wrote:

"I think it's pretty hard to refute the argument (which I heard first from
Tuna) that there is, in most cases, a diminishing return to each additional
year of debate."

I disagree with this because this thinking begins from the premise that the
guardians never change.  The next generation of educators will come from
among these debaters and while there may be diminishing returns to their
individual careers as the years go by*, their ability to gain sufficient
perspective on the activity, learn nuances, understand why debate works as
it does, etc. improves a great deal the more they compete and I think that
is what debate educators need the most.  Debate experience is obviously not
necessary to teach the activity, but I think growing students who can give
back through imparting their vast experience in the activity to future
students is the most sustainable model for teaching debate going forward
through the years.

* I also disagree with this in the context of novices in particular.  I feel
my novices make leaps and bounds every year they remain in the
activity...the leap of my juniors to seniors is huge in my experience
especially in the context of research skills.

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