Sage Hill SchoolClass of 2023Newport Coast, California
- "What effect did debate have on the success of former participants, and what role can it play in developing the youth of the next generation?" with mentor Nicole (Sept. 18, 2022)
What effect did debate have on the success of former participants, and what role can it play in developing the youth of the next generation?
Started Mar. 8, 2022
Abstract or project description
In debate education today, there is a large dilemma where school systems are losing faith in the education activity. As school systems either close down their debate programs for economic or productive reasons, they are ultimately depriving the youth of their developments as people, scholars, and future leaders of the world. Debate contains necessary skills that contribute to success inside the classroom and out. According to the former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, debate is the “great equalizer” that can provide the valuable educational opportunities that many students fail to receive in lower socioeconomic communities. Specifically, a study from Rowland Hall proves how debate can improve one’s score on the ACT and SAT, providing an increase in reading comprehension ability of up to 25%. Beyond this, a study under Professor Albert C. Snider of the University of Vermont records that in 2006, the gross average of debaters' GPAs was 2.97, compared to 2.5875 among the comparison group. At this point, one may question if debate can have the same academic impacts in lower socioeconomic communities. In 2010 Sam Greenland found that academic improvements from debate were not harmed by sex, socioeconomics, or language barriers. Overall, debate has the ability to improve all students despite their position, which is why I want to educate the public on the need for more debate programs in school systems. The research question of my project is “What effect did debate have on the success of former participants, and what role can it play in developing the youth of the next generation?” In completing the research, I will use qualitative and quantitative data to support my argument. I will be conducting a semi-structured interview protocol with between 10-15 participants. Through these interviews, I expect to find evidence that explains how debate was a key activity that allowed them to reach where they are today. Despite the views of former debaters and current CEOs such as Robert Sher who believe that the skills of research, critical thinking, leadership, and confidence are developed through debate, I hope this research will prove that debate is an essential tool that should be promoted within the school system.