[eDebate] to be more blunt

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Tue Jul 17 14:07:27 CDT 2007

Joe--I'm not sure I agree with your second point (although I can see instances where it may be the case).  As for the first point, I've seen a number of our debaters who experienced the diminishing returns situation and were able to help themselves and others by becoming coaches/judges their senior year.  This furthers the coaching pipeline.  

Bottom line:  I think, in most circumstances, society is better off with 4 people having been exposed to debate for 2 years each than one person having debated for 8 years.--Neil
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Joe Patrice<mailto:joepatrice at gmail.com> 
  To: edebate at www.ndtceda.com<mailto:edebate at www.ndtceda.com> 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 3:03 PM
  Subject: [eDebate] to be more blunt

  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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