ERIC Number: ED258307
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Broad Topics as Debate Entry Barriers: The Effects of Cognitive Development and Tolerance for Ambiguity.
A number of college students in forensic debate may be deterred from debating broad topics due to a lack of appropriate cognitive development and a perception of unacceptable certainty. These students have failed to develop formal thinking patterns because they lack reinforcing experiences in reasoning at that level. A sequenced pattern of instruction, one that moves students through increasingly broader topics, will help overcome these barriers. Progressively broader and more complex topics can provide the challenging, but solvable, stimuli required for the transition between cognitive structures. Likewise, the experience in confronting increasingly more uncertain debate situations can serve to improve an individual's tolerance for ambiguity. Debating limited case studies has been found to increase students' tolerance for disagreement. Recently, the National Developmental Conference on Forensics recommended that novice divisions of tournaments provide narrower versions of the national topic or restrict the affirmative case areas. The student who experiences these situations should be better able to debate broad topics. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Pi Kappa Delta Convention (Fayetteville, AR, March 20-23, 1985).