What Is the Purpose of Highschool Debate

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Kurt McKay
Dr. Long
Com 233

For several years debate has been a part of high schools across the country, and more than likely will continue to be for years to come. There are several benefits from high school debate including improving critical thinking and academic skills. Debate also improves mental and emotional maturity. However, there is disagreement on the actual purpose of high school debate. “Is it just to take the smartest kids in the country, the most privileged kids in the country and just make them smarter and more privileged? Or should the purpose of the way we debate, the style of our debate…be something that engages and brings in other students?”

For most high schools, the debate team is another organization on campus. One that allows students to join at will however is not necessarily required. When a high school’s debate team is a club or organization it does not effect, or bring in other students. A club style debate team only makes the most privileged and smartest kids in the country smarter and more privileged. When debate in a high school is not required, only the kids who already have the necessary skills and interest in debate will be affected. This would keep other students who are not as smart or privileged from receiving the benefits of debate because they would not be willing to join the debate team at their own will.

When a high school’s debate team is mandatory it is a lot more effective. Students who wouldn’t necessarily join the debate team would then be exposed to the benefits of debate. The students who would not join the debate team at will are more than likely the students who need the benefits of debate the most. Making a debate team mandatory also makes the smarter and more privileged students smarter and more privileged. However, it also bridges the gap and makes the less privileged and less smarter students more privileged and smarter.

Students who would join...
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