This book contains all you need to know to successfully coach a debate team. You may need to convince students that debate is a good idea, though. Here are six reasons:
1. Debating ability is a valuable skill.
2. Debate utilizes useful English.
3. It is a unique way to teach grammar.
4. It develops critical thinking skills.
5. It introduces global issues.
6. It develops research skills.
A more powerful reason to coach a debate team is given to us by Dr. Martin Luther King: ““Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace… If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation…” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
Different coaches have different theories about how to coach a successful debate team. As you will find in this book, I believe in understanding debate from the practical side.
In this book, we start our journey with debating in the classroom, where most students encounter debate for the first time. We move on to the moment of shock and surprise when you find out you are the debate coach and need to recruit a debate team.
Then we begin to study debating, through actual debates. We look at the gender equality debate, and after that, look at the importance of definitions. From there, we move on to the right to die debate, for the individual to take his/her own life, and contrast that with the capital punishment debate. Why do we say “Yes” in the one instance and “No” in the other?
We move next to the prohibition of smoking in public places. Do smokers have any rights? Where can you smoke a cigarette nowadays? Then it is off to England, stopping at Oxford, to hear Malcolm X debate the use of extremism to achieve legitimate goals. Finally, a voice from the past century shares information that every debate coach should know.
To wrap things up, the appendix closes with twelve debate motions to keep you supplied with topics to debate. Ultimately, debating helps us to understand how others see the world, and in doing so, creates opportunity for everyone to make a better world, through mutual understanding and tolerance. Debating is what you make of it, in the end. Good luck coach, to you and to your debating team…
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