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Just wondering if you all saw this article on the New York Times website. It's about the Liberty University debate team. Liberty was founded by Jerry Falwell. I'm not posting this to start a conversation about Jerry Falwell, but about a quote from the debate team coach about home-schoolers trying to qualify for the debate team. Just wondering what you all think of what he said?<br><br>
Here's the link to the entire article:<br><br><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/19/magazine/319debate.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1" target="_blank">http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/19/ma...ewanted=1&_r=1</a><br><br>
And here is the quote from the coach about home-schoolers:<br><br><i>Being a Christian is a necessary but insufficient requirement for making the Liberty squad. A lot of students are home-schooled; some have even taken part in special home-school debate leagues. But according to O'Donnell, they lack the starch for serious debate. "These kids pray with each other before the matches," he says. "They put a big emphasis on good manners. I've got nothing against manners or praying, but we want to win. I've never met a home-schooled debater who was aggressive enough for college competition."</i>
 

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I debated in high school and the debaters were generally the "nerds" who were calm and polite to each other. I don't think we needed "aggressiveness" in the sense he means it. I know the college level is different, but this seems like more typical hyper-competitiveness.<br><br>
Far more disturbing in my opinion was their constantly referring to the students as "kids."
 

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Sorry, I didn't really answer your question...<br><br>
I do think hs'ers as a whole are probably less aggressive, and I don't think that's a bad thing.
 

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I've homeschooled my kids for 14 years now, and I firmly believe now what I thought then--which is that all children are different. My children are not really aggressive, but they are incredibly competitive. Do I think that they would make good debaters if that were their desire? I do. People just have goofy ideas about homeschoolers, in my opinion.
 

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Honestly, I think it's a minority of the population in the first place that are good debaters. That goes for homeschooled OR public schooled. There are homeschool debate teams around here. I understand that some of those homeschoolers can run rings around anyone they debate with. O'Donnell is painting all homeschoolers with a pretty broad brush if you ask me.<br><br>
One thing that may be coloring his view is most of those who try out for a college debate team probably were on a debate team in high school. Kids who were homeschooled very well may be more likely to look into a diverse group of college activities so perhaps some homeschoolers who try out have never debated or been on a debate team but are interested in learning or participating.
 

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I debated Lincoln-Douglas/values debate in high school and I am not a very assertive or competitive person. I really need to work on being more assertive. But the challenge of debate to me was not necessarily being aggressive enough, but simply building a case, recognizing and calling out the logical fallacies in the opponent's case and showing how that case does not stand up. It was more like a logical challenge rather than an aggressive thing. There were some really aggressive and scary debaters that had all kinds of holes in their case. As long as you call out those holes, then that's the way to winning. Policy debate is different and I was not attracted to that (it seemed to be all about speed-talking as a way of winning rather than addressing the logical fallacies).<br><br>
Anyway, I just can't see how lack of aggressiveness would necessarily be a limiting factor in debate. Debate requires you to research, build a case, anticipate the counter-arguments and then look for holes in the other case. You don't have to be aggressive to successfully do that.
 

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I can't see why not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> In fact, I know that *I* would have been a stronger debator if I'd been homeschooled, because I'd have had more time and energy to pursue it (I loved speech & debate).
 

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My duaghter is only 3 but I thought I should chime about the assertiveness issue. If he wants assertive he needs to come meet my kids. My husband and I raise our kids from birth to really value individual opinion and to be assertive about it. While I can't say for sure, I belive that it is more of a personal style that reflects assertiveness, not what type of school you attended.
 

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That's sort of like asking if homeschoolers can make good college athletes. It really depends. Many of the best (olympic) athletes in the world are homeschooled (sometimes in order to dedicate more time to their passion), but not all homeschoolers have any interest in sports, and those that do don't always have the resources of their institutionalized counterparts, so that they may not be competitive on the same level when entering college.<br><br>
Homeschooling doesn't make children poor debaters (or poor athletes). A homeschooled child with the right combination of passion, innate ability, and training will excel, and I suspect that the child who has the first two and lacks only training will quickly catch up to his peers in the competitive college setting.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;"><span>Quote:</span></div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">They put a big emphasis on good manners. I've got nothing against manners or praying, but we want to win. I've never met a home-schooled debater who was aggressive enough for college competition.</td>
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<span>How strange. And right away, a very nice homeschooled young man I know came to mind - because he's known for being great at debate and is pursuing it in college! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
I think good debate involves being quick, sharp-minded and intelligent, which plenty of homeschoolers are - but doesn't need to mean being overly-aggressive or abrasive. Maybe that's what it's come to, but I can't help but wonder if it's just that way in certain circles or something...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"> - Lillian</span>
 

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Team members, like all students, are obliged to follow the Liberty Way. No alcohol, tobacco or drugs are permitted. (Students are subject to random testing.) On the road the team stays in hotels that have cable TV, but students aren't permitted to watch movies rated R, NC-17 or X. There are romantic couples on the squad, but they are forbidden to do more than hold hands.<br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">: laughup<br><br>
Okay, now that I've calmed down... I debated in high school with one of the best college debaters in the country from 1994-1999. He debated at Liberty. He was also a drug user, a huffer, an alcohol abuser, and couldn't keep his you know what in his pants if his pants were superglued to him. I know this from personal experience (I was always the designated driver...they called me "the sister" as in the nun, 'cause I was so straight). He was also beautiful, charming, and the favorite in every circle he became part of. Including the Liberty debate team. I am quite sure that he never was subjected to drug tests, if he had been he would have failed, hands down...although perhaps, as he was the best(and very occaisionally second best) in the nation five years running while debating for Liberty, they may have looked the other way.<br><br>
As for homeschoolers being good debaters? I don't know...I know that, as debaters in high school, we spent every extra minute we had on debate stuff, going over things as a team. Researching, practicing, researching some more. I know that there are homeschooled students who are intensly interested in something, and that perhaps they could choose debate as this interest. I haven't experienced a homeschool debate team, so I don't know the difference between that and a "school" debate team. I do know that we were encouraged to be sneaky, cut throat, and elitist...as well as all the other things they talked about in the article. This is why I didn't go on to college level debate. I wasn't cut-throat, sneaky or elitist enough. Personally I think this is a good thing on my part! I was still a great debater in theory...just not mean enough. Sorry for the above digression...just the general public to know that not all the Liberty students are the angels they're made out to be in the article...even the elite debaters! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I can't speak to whether or not homeschoolers are cut-out for traditional debate squads, but what really bothered me about this quote was the implication that polite, mutually respectful debate is "weak". (And they *pray* together?? Is that anyway for Christians to treat their opponents? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> )<br><br>
I think we need less debate in this country and more discussion -- the kind where we really listen and hear each other with our hearts as well as our minds. The kind where we can state our own opinions and beliefs without cutting down someone else's. I'm heartened to think that homeschoolers might be extra good at doing that.<br><br>
BTW, I imagine plenty of homeschoolers are good at traditional debate too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>luv my 2 sweeties</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think we need less debate in this country and more discussion -- the kind where we really listen and hear each other with our hearts as well as our minds. The kind where we can state our own opinions and beliefs without cutting down someone else's.</div>
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Well said!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>luv my 2 sweeties</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I can't speak to whether or not homeschoolers are cut-out for traditional debate squads, but what really bothered me about this quote was the implication that polite, mutually respectful debate is "weak". (And they *pray* together?? Is that anyway for Christians to treat their opponents? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> )</div>
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Right, it sort of undermines their claim to being "different."<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think we need less debate in this country and more discussion -- the kind where we really listen and hear each other with our hearts as well as our minds. The kind where we can state our own opinions and beliefs without cutting down someone else's. I'm heartened to think that homeschoolers might be extra good at doing that.</td>
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But debate is so much more fun! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Actually I agree with you. But better to kick butt rhetorically than physically, isn't it?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Brigianna</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But better to kick butt rhetorically than physically, isn't it?</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Yeah, I guess you're right about that!
 
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