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World Policy Debate Class at JRHS

By Susan Wilderman and Marissa Fuller, Faculty

Some may say that debate is becoming a lost art and skill in our society. Not here at JRHS! By learning proper debate skills, six students under the leadership of Marissa Fuller and Susan Wilderman increased their knowledge and understanding of how trade has changed over the last century with a focus on world trade agreements and existing US trade policy. Part of this investigation considered the pros and cons of globalization helping students to realize that trade is a complex issue which involves not only economics but ethics.

After building a knowledge base, they were challenged to build a case for a particular US trade policy. The three options considered were: Protecting US Workers, Free Trade ~ Keeping US Economy at the Forefront, and lastly, Fair and Free Trade. Although students may not have agreed with their assigned option, by using their research to develop a strong case to support their option, these three debate teams were able to engage in an exciting debate.

Debate offers the chance to improve skills in the areas of: public speaking, listening, honoring others, quick thinking skills, and collaborative team work. When done well, Debate focuses on the issue and is not an argument, but an opportunity to be persuasive. Our students did just that and are to be commended.

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