Sunday, August 26, 2007

Why Debate?

"Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress” - Mohatmas Ghandi

The process of debate offers profound and lasting benefits for individuals, for societies, and indeed, for the global community as a whole. With its emphasis on critical thinking, effective communication, independent research, and teamwork, debate teaches skills that serve individuals well in school, in the workplace, in political life, and in fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens of democratic societies. Once students have learned how to debate, they are better able to critically examine the pronouncements of their political representatives and to make informed judgments about crucial issues.

Debate and Society

The individual skills learned through debate have a broader impact on society as well. Debate can help fledgling democracies heal from the wounds inflicted by oppressive dictatorships and ethnic violence by providing a forum where these volatile issues can be openly discussed. Newly enfranchised citizens engaged in such debates learn first-hand how democracy works. And because it teaches the principles of tolerance, nonviolence, and respect for different points of view, debate can close the gap between minority and majority cultures, and between other groups divided by long-standing animosities.

Source: International Debate Education Association

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