Video

Through the Education Lens

The Most "Inarticulate Generation?"

CJW, July 9, 2010 3:54 PM

Debate.jpg

2 Min. Video Below

A Case For Debating Teams?
A Thought . . .


By C.J. Westerberg

With the warnings about our culture's lack of empathy, attention span, scrutiny and desire for depth having reached a near cacophonous pitch, there are some powerful initiatives schools and teachers can implement to counter-balance this trend.

Much of it arises from the lack of opportunity students have in most classrooms to engage in a good ole' fashioned debate.  It's hard to hide essential communication skills in a format geared for thinking and speaking on the fly.  Plus, students will learn what due diligence is really all about -- that research and analysis prior to the debate may save their butts more often than not, and lend them more opportunities to shine.

"Is Shakespeare relevant?" would be a topic that would be most difficult for a student adept at counting on Cliff Notes' "cram" sessions for prep work.  Plus, by switching students to present the side they least agree with is one of the great standard debating tricks that teaches empathy.  (If only Congress could try it for a day).   And, as long as we can utilize debating as an opportunity to bring in some meaty content, as opposed to "tackling" fluff topics, such as "Does Lady Gaga's drama have a negative effect on our culture?" - - we may be on to something. 

Why are debating teams and clubs in so few schools?  And, why are they often viewed as "for nerds" except perhaps in tony private schools where there is a tradition of debate?

What do you think?  Does it take a hit show -- look what Fox did for musicals and Glee Clubs --like American Idol and Glee?  If so, bring them on!  See related article here, "The Glee Generation".

We love this 2:30 video below.  By Ronnie Bruce, film student at Temple University:  










Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

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