Though normally this blog is devoted to classroom practices that use debating, rather than to competitive interscholastic debating, I thought I'd take a moment to note that the Middle School Public Debate Program (MSPDP), which I administer, has been recognized by the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, as a Civic Learning Example. See our program summarized here. So far, we're the only debating program they've recognized, and I'm delighted.
As I've mentioned previously here and elsewhere, I do think that civic education is essential. Not that we need more things to integrate into our already overstuffed and overmanaged curricula, but civic learning is a Big Idea in education that, used properly, can help us organize any number of things better - from inquiry projects to direct instruction to service learning. And the core ideas of civic education are, really, the core ideas of universal education -- the idea that we should have a society of informed, active, vocal citizens who will make a difference in national and transnational communities.
And debating is one of many ways that teachers can accomplish these goals. So, I'm happy to have the endorsement of the folks at the CCMS.