[eDebate] Here is a ? for the community

Les Phillips les_phillips98
Sun Jun 10 11:18:19 CDT 2007

I always thought that the best way to communicate the complexity and rigor of
policy debate to administrators was to have them sit in on varsity class (or
squad) discussions.  Novice discussions/coaching are also great things for
administrators to observe; they see thinking and discovery happening in front
of their eyes.  

Also good:  any setting that showcases team spirit, varsity helping novices,
the passion that kids feel for the activity. 

A competitive debate round may provide one of the worst possible introductions
for an administrator.  Once I had a new principal watch a tournament round --
after he'd already seen some class discussions and chatted with debaters.  One
of our assistants was judging the round, and she was able to explain some
things to him during prep time.  Most important, the principal listened to her
oral -- the judge added a fair bit of extra explanation, for his benefit.  That
was very useful, for that principal.  But watching the students thinking and
preparing, that's far more impressive.

Les Phillips

--- Stefan Bauschard <SBauschard at planetdebate.com> wrote:

> I never really tried to limit the number of sentences I was using when
> describing debate.
> We had a new principal at our school this year.  She knew absolutely nothing
> about debate, but she was curious.
> She came and watched me teach the novices once.
> She came to our tournament and looked in an a couple debates.  She came with
> the assistant superintendent for curriculum, and they both thought it was
> pretty funny that people talked so fast.
> One time she came to observe the debaters doing research and
> filing/organizing their evidence in the debate room.
> Now she really likes debate.  In fact, I?d say she is one of our strongest
> supporters and she is always helping to recruit students.   
> She thinks debate promotes the ?highest? of ?high order? thinking skills.
> Other than saying something like ?People argue in debate,? I think it is hard
> to explain the complexity of debate in a single sentence.  But, encouraging
> observation seems to work.
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