Five charter schools are in the midst of a series of debate competition for middle school students. The schools are Flagstaff Academy, Excel Academy, Jefferson Academy, Crown Pointe Academy and Woodrow Wilson Academy.
I've been serving as a judge for the competition and really enjoying it. The reasoning of middle schoolers is priceless!
Students have debated numerous topics, including medical marijuana, hunting, oil exploration, and banning books. The competitions are every other Saturday and so the students have time to research and prepare in the interim.
The students are learning skills such as oral presentation, strategies for debate, research credibility, and cogent arguments. Some are naturally gifted in certain debate skills. Several times a student has either made a great argument or demonstrated a great strategy. Already by the second debate I could see improvement in several of the teams.