ERIC Number: ED342035
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-2
Reference Count: N/A
Policy Implementation: The Virtual Disappearance of an Issue in NDT Debate.
Morello, John T.
Competitive intercollegiate debate programs have long been premised on the unique educational opportunity the activity affords its participants. The central problem with National Debate Tournament (NDT) rounds is that policy advocacy too frequently occurs, reducing questions asked to one of whether advantages outweigh disadvantages. While issues of policy feasibility, workability, and practicality are essential tests of the wisdom of any proposed course of action, such issues rarely, if ever, arise in NDT debate rounds. Avoidance of such questions reflects a mindset that casts doubt on educational objectives typically offered in support of college debate. It is often noted that debate skills have value in various occupational fields; however, NDT debate does not stimulate a real world counterpart. Furthermore, NDT debate practice does not promote citizen participation in policy making. Most arguments popular in the NDT circuit would be laughable in most democratic decision making forums. One justification offered in support of debate is that it teaches argumentation skills. In its preoccupation with one level of argument, NDT policy debate has shrunk the opportunity to develop argumentative skill. Perhaps the educational function of collegiate policy debating would be better served by changing the assumptions underlying NDT debate. (One endnote is included; 34 references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Debate Theory; Educational Issues; National Debate Tournament; Policy Implementation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991). "Filled" letters may affect legibility of document.