ERIC Number: ED234434
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Academic Debate Paradigms: An Examination from a Rules Perspective.
Himes, Kenneth G.
Debate paradigms, which at one time established standards to help judges evaluate arguments and rules to guide debaters' argument choice and strategy selection, no longer offer consistent guidance for either judges or debaters. An increased emphasis on creativity and flexibility has led to a general unwillingness to use a rigid debate format. The communication theory (CMM) advanced by W. Barnett Pearce and Vernon E. Cronen, however, provides the basis for a flexible yet clearly communicated debate framework. Often referred to as "rules theory," CMM describes two types of rules: constitutive--which govern the assignment of meaning, and regulative--which define parameters for acceptable strategy choices within a given context. As applied to debate, this theory suggests that meaning, being both cognitive and context-dependent, is determined by six general hierarchical levels of organization: (1) content of the argument, (2) type of argument, (3) episode of communication or debate round, (4) perceived relationships between judge and debaters and among the debaters, (5) perceived role of debaters or judge, and (6) archetypal patterns of the debate community. By teaching debaters to coordinate the management of meaning in a debate round, coaches give them tools of perceptual management that can be used in a wide variety of situations. (MM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Theory Practice Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Lincoln, NE, April 7-9, 1983).