[eDebate] Re-thinking the States Counterplan
Pacedebate at aol.com
Sat Apr 4 19:55:34 CDT 2009
I wanted to start my responses to the various posts with two caveats:
1) I'm really speaking more about the high school community. I'm less
concerned with college debate practice given that I see it, particularly national
circuit ndt competition, primarily as a game for people who decide to do this
instead of playing XBox or whatever. Not to say there isn't educational value
to debate in college but my perspective is necessarily more focused on high
school debate. Given the high school environment I think we should be
uniquely concerned with tying debate practices to educational goals.
2) Even my high school perspective is an exclusive one focusing primarily on
high school students who attend summer institutes and compete on the national
circuit. So when I say "many high school students" those few folks willing
to wade through all this will know that I'm speaking about a particular group
of students and what practices I think will benefit them.
Now some line by line....
In a message dated 4/4/2009 1:38:21 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
jbhdb8 at gmail.com writes:
Personally, I agree with most everyone on the "State CP = death of poverty
topic" tip......not hard to agree with this...I do have a few questions for
the extremely far right "don't teach the State CP" version of this:
First, doesn't this kind of sellout many of our deepest held beliefs about
letting the best argument win the day and let debate lead theory?
This is why I started with the caveat about high school. 10 years of
coaching high school debate has radically changed my beliefs about this notion.
Summer institutes and the work done there dominate the high school scene. There
are a number of reasons why this is the case but the primary one is the large
number of very successful debaters that receive little to no coaching during
the season. Very few people who haven't coached high school debate can
understand how truly dominating the presence of camp work is during the season.
Relative to the number of debates that take place in high school there is very
little argument innovation. It isn't uncommon to find teams reading verbatim
their camp aff at season ending tournaments. What they leave camp with is what
they have. What they learn at camp is a large portion of the knowledge they
will use during the season.
Second, how does one get practice beating the states CP on a topic where
people will 100% run the state CP when we don't even "introduce it" at camps
etc. Seems to me most of us got our hard opinions about this CP after decades
of debating it.....Removing it only means less well thought out answers and
discussion among judging pools on how best to defeat it.
For the next few years people would run it. Just like people still run
Ashtar - the states cp will never totally disappear but if it isn't taught at
camps it will become less and less common. And, I didn't say don't teach people
how to beat the states cp. It's quite possible to talk about how to defeat an
argument without including that in a camp curriculum as a core argument. As I
stated, each instructor should definitely spend time talking about their
favorite theory argument to beat the states cp. If several camps didn't teach it
but did teach how to beat it this argument would be substantially less
common next year.
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