Speech and Debate as Civic Education

Paper or softback
J. Michael Hogan, Jessica A. Kurr, Michael J. Bergmaier, Jeremy D. Johnson
Published 08 Nov 2017
List Price £23.95



“An outstanding volume. Both wide-ranging and deep, Speech and Debate as Civic Education enlarges our understanding of intercollegiate debate by framing it in a historical context as well as by exploring its philosophical, ethical, and political possibilities. The essays consistently thematize gender, race, and culture, and together they paint a persuasive picture of why debate matters to education, and therefore to democracy. Anyone who cares about the role of rhetoric and argument in a deliberative democracy should own this book.”

—William Keith, author of Democracy as Discussion: Civic Education and the American Forum Movement

“Presenting an unvarnished assessment of a compelling, proven avenue for enhancing civic involvement and responsibility, Speech and Debate as Civic Education traces the ubiquitous and long-standing value of speech and debate training for local and global audiences, for middle school to college students, for majority and minority participants, and for students educated in religious and secular environments. In short, this is an invaluable resource for educators and institutions alike seeking to find needed responses to our increasingly polarized world.”

—Carol Kay Winkler, Georgia State University

In an era increasingly marked by polarized and unproductive political debates, this volume makes the case for a renewed emphasis on teaching speech and debate, both in and outside of the classroom.

Speech and debate education leads students to better understand their First Amendment rights and the power of speaking. It teaches them to work together collaboratively to solve problems, and it encourages critical thinking, reasoned and fact-based argumentation, and respect for differing viewpoints in our increasingly diverse and global society. Highlighting the need for more emphasis on the ethics and skills of democratic deliberation, the contributors to this volume—leading scholars, teachers, and coaches in speech and debate programs around the country—offer new ideas for reinvigorating curricular and co-curricular speech and debate by recovering and reinventing their historical mission as civic education.

Combining historical case studies, theoretical reflections, and reports on programs that utilize rhetorical pedagogies to educate for citizenship, Speech and Debate as Civic Education is a first-of-its-kind collection of the best ideas for reinventing and revitalizing the civic mission of speech and debate for a new generation of students.

In addition to the editors, the contributors to this volume include Jenn Anderson, Michael D. Bartanen, Ann Crigler, Sara A. Mehltretter Drury, David A. Frank, G. Thomas Goodnight, Ronald Walter Greene, Taylor W. Hahn, Darrin Hicks, Edward A. Hinck, Jin Huang, Una Kimokeo-Goes, Rebecca A. Kuehl, Lorand Laskai, Tim Lewis, Robert S. Littlefield, Allan D. Louden, Paul E. Mabrey III, Jamie McKown, Gordon R. Mitchell, Catherine H. Palczewski, Angela G. Ray, Robert C. Rowland, Minhee Son, Sarah Stone Watt, Melissa Maxcy Wade, David Weeks, Carly S. Woods, and David Zarefsky.



Foreword: Speech and Debate as Civic Education: Challenges and Opportunities - David Zarefsky

Introduction: Speech and Debate as Civic Education - J. Michael Hogan and Jessica A. Kurr

Part I: History of Speech and Debate as Civic Education

1. Warriors and Statesmen: Debate Education among Free African American Men in Antebellum Charleston - Angela G. Ray

2. Renewing a “Very Old Means of Education”: Civic Engagement and the Birth of Intercollegiate Debate in the United States - Jamie McKown

3. Taking Women Seriously: Debaters, Faculty Allies, and the Feminist Work of Debating in the 1930s and 1940s - Carly S. Woods

4. The Intersection of Debate and Democracy: The Shifting Role of Forensics in the History of American Civic Education - Michael D. Bartanen and Robert S. Littlefield

Part II: Debate Education and Public Deliberation

5. Public Debate and American Democracy: Guidelines for Pedagogy - Robert C. Rowland

6. When Argumentation Backfires: The Motivated Reasoning Predicament in Speech and Debate Pedagogy - Gordon R. Mitchell

7. Teaching Religion through Argument, Speech, and Debate: Critiquing Logos and Mythos - David A. Frank

Part III: Rethinking Competitive Speech and Debate

8. The CEDA-Miller Center War Powers Debates: A Case for Intercollegiate Debate’s Civic Roles - Paul E. Mabrey III

9. Beyond Peitho: The Women’s Debate Institute as Civic Education - Catherine H. Palczewski

10. Debating Conviction: From Sincere Belief to Affective Atmosphere - Walter Greene and Darrin Hicks

11. Debaters as Citizens: Rethinking Debate Frameworks to Address the Policy/Performance Divide - Sarah Stone Watt

Part IV: Cultivating Civic Skills and Literacy

12. Debate Activities and the Promise of Citizenship - Edward A. Hinck

13. Deliberation as Civic Education: Incorporating Public Deliberation into the Communication Studies Curriculum - Sara A. Mehltretter Drury, Rebecca A. Kuehl, and Jenn Anderson

14. Youth, Networks, and Civic Engagement: Communities of Belonging and Communities of Practice - G. Thomas Goodnight, Minhee Son, Jin Huang, and Ann Crigler

15. Pathways to Civic Education: Urban Debate Leagues as Communities of Practice - Melissa Maxcy Wade

Part V: International Collaboration and Interconnections in Debates

16. Comparing Argument and Debate Modes to Invoke Student Civic Engagement: Learning from ‘The Ben’ - Allan D. Louden and Taylor W. Hahn

17. The Worlds-Style Debate Format: Performing Global Citizenship - Una Kimokeo-Goes

18. Suzhi Jiaoyu, Debate, and Civic Education in China - Laskai, David Weeks and Tim Lewis

Select Bibliography

List of Contributors


J. Michael Hogan is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric at Penn State University and Visiting Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at Davidson College. His most recent book is Public Speaking and Civic Engagement.

Jessica A. Kurr is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State University.

Michael J. Bergmaier is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication Arts and Sciences with a Minor in Social Thought at Penn State University.

Jeremy D. Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State University.

A collection of essays bringing together the leading scholars, teachers, coaches, and program administrators in the field of speech and debate, reflecting on the role of curricular and co-curricular speech and debate programs in civic education.