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Should 8th graders debate in high school?

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I would like the thoughts of some high schoolers who started HS debate in 8th grade - is it a big boost, or does the chance of burning out outweigh the advantages? There are also some maturity issues . . .

 

Emory's middle school tournaments are a good starter, but since they don't allow original research, or for new arguments outside of the packet (K, Counterplans, T included), many of the 8th graders who are returning for the 2nd or 3rd year find it is really boring/limiting/frustrating. We have asked, but Emory seems unwilling to change their rules, or add a new 8th grade division following the Georgia Novice HS rules.

 

Is it better to let 8th graders do a year in novice/jv of high school?

 

Hmm. This is interesting. Where i live all levels of middle school are allowed to debate (6-8) Not just 8th previously mentioned. I think the ends justify the means of allowing them to debate at the highschool level. I think it'll probably make them really conceited by their junior & senior year of debate-but then again, there are teams out there like this that having been debating that long. It'll definitely sharpen their skills and get them out of boredom, but I think along the road-there will be a need to make serious attitude adjustments. But I think this varies on the kid. One guy at my school debated in middle school, and isn't that much different from now, whereas I (not that I'm conceited or anything) just stated to debated my sophomore year of highschool (I'm now a Junior) and am better than he is.

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I think that MS students should be allowed to debate. This year was my first year of debate. I am an 8th grader right now. My school dosent have a MS debate group , but at the begining of the year the HS debate coach asked me and my friend Vaughn Stockton to go to camp. Vaughn couldent go but I went. Honestly, I learned very little from camp.

At the begining of the year me and Vaughn debated together in novice tournys. We won some rounds lost some. But after about 3 tounaments it became apparent to the coach that i was being severly held back by my partner. He moved me up to JV with a soph. I debated the rest of the year with the soph. while Vaughn and another soph. he was paired with stayed in novice (his partner was about his skill level).

I have improved greatly and next year will be debating Varsity and a 9th grader. I think that starting debate early can be helpful for some people and for others will do nothing. And same goes for skill level if you debate at a novice level,then you should debate novice (and vise versa). Even if you are a Junior. In my opinion the bottom line is that grade should not determine your debate level but that it should be decided by your skill level.

-Hank Stolte

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I think that MS students should be allowed to debate. This year was my first year of debate. I am an 8th grader right now. My school dosent have a MS debate group , but at the begining of the year the HS debate coach asked me and my friend Vaughn Stockton to go to camp. Vaughn couldent go but I went. Honestly, I learned very little from camp.

At the begining of the year me and Vaughn debated together in novice tournys. We won some rounds lost some. But after about 3 tounaments it became apparent to the coach that i was being severly held back by my partner. He moved me up to JV with a soph. I debated the rest of the year with the soph. while Vaughn and another soph. he was paired with stayed in novice (his partner was about his skill level).

I have improved greatly and next year will be debating Varsity and a 9th grader. I think that starting debate early can be helpful for some people and for others will do nothing. And same goes for skill level if you debate at a novice level,then you should debate novice (and vise versa). Even if you are a Junior. In my opinion the bottom line is that grade should not determine your debate level but that it should be decided by your skill level.

-Hank Stolte

Thats great, you will be a 9th grade varsity and you have debated for 2 years+camp(because belive it or not im sure you learned something) but thats not where the prblem stands. The problem scomes when you are debating novice, honestly you probably are a varsity, but could you imagine debating at the novice level?

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Thats great, you will be a 9th grade varsity and you have debated for 2 years+camp(because belive it or not im sure you learned something) but thats not where the prblem stands. The problem scomes when you are debating novice, honestly you probably are a varsity, but could you imagine debating at the novice level?

 

I haven't been following this debate very closely so I could be alittle off in my opinion but I'll share my two cents anyways.

 

You should be allowed to debate in 8th grade- the only good argument for why you shouldn't is fairness at the novice level. But this is empircally denied- few reasons

 

1. How many good debaters have younger siblings who debate? These younger siblings have a step up against the other novice folk because they have been involved in the activity/know whats up etc.

2. Resource Disparity- check it - the schools with the big bucks can afford to have coaches watch and judge practice debates and can teach kids the right stuff to do- that is also unfair and gives the richer novice school the upper hand.

3. Work Ethic and eagerness to learn- the best novices are the ones who suck up all knowledge thrown at them etc..

 

Here are the net benefits-

8th graders can learn the basics at a young age and develop their argumentative skills more- for instance- 2/3ds of novice year is wasted learning the speech times and what each speech does- no good clash or debates get clashed out

 

Also it encourages other novices in the circuit to step up there game/learn from these people- increasing competition and the ability for all novices to know whats up.

 

If people are going to complain about the novice state tournament, yes it will be unfair and yes the debaters who debate in eighth grade will probably have the best chance of winning, but SO WHAT? Gotta see the big picture- who cares about the short term competition... Big picture = better debaters

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I haven't been following this debate very closely so I could be alittle off in my opinion but I'll share my two cents anyways.

 

You should be allowed to debate in 8th grade- the only good argument for why you shouldn't is fairness at the novice level. But this is empircally denied- few reasons

 

1. How many good debaters have younger siblings who debate? These younger siblings have a step up against the other novice folk because they have been involved in the activity/know whats up etc.

2. Resource Disparity- check it - the schools with the big bucks can afford to have coaches watch and judge practice debates and can teach kids the right stuff to do- that is also unfair and gives the richer novice school the upper hand.

3. Work Ethic and eagerness to learn- the best novices are the ones who suck up all knowledge thrown at them etc..

 

Here are the net benefits-

8th graders can learn the basics at a young age and develop their argumentative skills more- for instance- 2/3ds of novice year is wasted learning the speech times and what each speech does- no good clash or debates get clashed out

 

Also it encourages other novices in the circuit to step up there game/learn from these people- increasing competition and the ability for all novices to know whats up.

 

If people are going to complain about the novice state tournament, yes it will be unfair and yes the debaters who debate in eighth grade will probably have the best chance of winning, but SO WHAT? Gotta see the big picture- who cares about the short term competition... Big picture = better debaters

qfa.

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I shouldnt be bringing up a kinda dropped thread but oh well.

I am a 8th grade debater at Chamblee i want to provide my own perspective.

I debated and at my last closed novice i broke and lost. Open i got owned 2-3. Next Athens 2-3 again but i got a judge who hated K so not my fault me and my partner could have beat Peace Corps.

Alot of judges have complimented.

I am the only middle schooler at Chamblee they would let go open. And im not that good i really am a bad speaker my analytics probably make sense but im really bad at expressing them they are so crappy. When i read evidence i havent looked through before it ends up around 1/8 my regular speed and i end up sounding retarded.

And i really see arrogance playing into the whole debate experience. But maybe there just naturally duschbags?

Despite all this having this extra year has been an amazing experience i absolutely love debate. Ive already ran hyperspace twice, for the last round of both my open novice rounds and i won. It was so much fun i ran a malthus da and a hyperspace and then later i claimed an aff called destruction corps where we draft everone in the united states and they go around destroying stuff and being badass.

I even understand burnout ive actually felt a few stages but it doesnt matter.

Having a year to debate has been so much fun im already planning out a zombie counterplan for any aff attempting to help out africa involving a workforce. This last year has been a great gift and i really wish more middle schoolers could experience it.

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And there is reason enough right there to not have 8th graders debate.

 

Dude we all go through this stage- I mean hell when I was a sophmore I was reading a zizek aff and didnt defend a plan. We all learn what good arguments are and what bad arguments are- Id like t osee a WARRANTED reason why 8th graders shouldnt debate thats not rooted in fairness.

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Dude we all go through this stage- I mean hell when I was a sophmore I was reading a zizek aff and didnt defend a plan. We all learn what good arguments are and what bad arguments are- Id like t osee a WARRANTED reason why 8th graders shouldnt debate thats not rooted in fairness.

It boosts their ego. We all know debate makes you smart and not only that it makes you feel smart. Its hard enough for highschoolers to handle it, much less and 8th grader. If you feel smart and you act like you know it all that can be considered arrogance. Which is also called: having a big head, being a know it all, being a smart ass, having a big ego. At leasts in highschool you can control it better. In middleschool, as an 8th grader you thinking youre better than everyone can lead to major social problems that can follow you into highschool. All of that ego doesn't fit a 13-14 year old.

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It boosts their ego. We all know debate makes you smart and not only that it makes you feel smart. Its hard enough for highschoolers to handle it, much less and 8th grader. If you feel smart and you act like you know it all that can be considered arrogance. Which is also called: having a big head, being a know it all, being a smart ass, having a big ego. At leasts in highschool you can control it better. In middleschool, as an 8th grader you thinking youre better than everyone can lead to major social problems that can follow you into highschool. All of that ego doesn't fit a 13-14 year old.

 

How can you draw this magical line between high school and middle school? Students don't magically mature over the summer before their 9th grade year. I guarantee there are plenty of high school kids who "can't handle it," while there are plenty of middle school kids who can.

 

And that's irrelevant, anyway. Those destined to be egotistical will be regardless of when they start debating.

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How can you draw this magical line between high school and middle school? Students don't magically mature over the summer before their 9th grade year. I guarantee there are plenty of high school kids who "can't handle it," while there are plenty of middle school kids who can.

 

And that's irrelevant, anyway. Those destined to be egotistical will be regardless of when they start debating.

The line is called maturity. Yes SOME in highschool can't handle it and yes SOME in middleschool can, but where does the majority lie? Are the majority of 8th graders more mature than the majority of 9th? I'm sure you can bring ceartain instances but on a broader scale 9th graders are more mature than 8th graders. Besides "destiny" is a whole nother subject it all depends on how it is defined. Something with such an arbitrary definition shouldn't be used to determine whether 8th graders should debate.

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Besides "destiny" is a whole nother subject it all depends on how it is defined. Something with such an arbitrary definition shouldn't be used to determine whether 8th graders should debate.

Mele-Mel is pretty right destiny does have an arbitrary meaning rooted mainly in philosphy. (This is like m-spec LOL) I mean if you feel that destiny is up to you then Audioslave is obviously wrong but if you feel destiny is up to a higher power or that you don't control it then there is some validity behind what audioslave is saying. So I think the whole destiny arg. is irrelevant until you specify what destiny is. For example, I think its my sisters destiny to grow up and be a prostitute, and throughout highschool she actually wanted to do that (she even went on maury) but she goes to princeton. Does Maury have the magical power to alter ones destiny from a life of STD's, and drugs to princeton?

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(almost) every regulation GA adds to control entry into various levels in an attempt to ensure fairness has led to a variety of unintended consiquences. Middleschool debate is by highschool standards rediculous, everything about it is so restricted that it can be quickly outgrown. I understand that these limits are important to facilitate learning, but a bright kid who puts some time and energy in can master middleschool debate in a year. They need somewhere to go. Why not let them debate highschool? More debaters should only enhance the activity, and the extra experience should only increase the overall level of debate when these kids get older. If people can't deal with the zombie cp, the answer isn't through banning 8th grades, but getting better at debate.

 

This fairness argument makes little sense. Within a round, everything should be done to ensure fairness, but there is no way to regulate what happens outside of a round. That is to say that some schools will be better prepared no matter what, banning middle school debate doesn't suddenly level the playing field. Debate isn't supposed to be flipping a coin; the object isn't to garentee an exactly equal chance for each team. Instead of trying to handicap teams that have middleschoolers ready to "go pro", why not just encourage that level of involvement more schools? So some novices get crushed. I'm fine with that; everyone gets crushed a few times, and a higher level of overall debate will only enhance these youngsters in the long run.

 

Attempts to keep every level perfectly fair for every debater leads to restrained and ultimately boring debates. We shoud loosen entry restrictions and encourage kids who are able to jump ahead and test thier abilities.

 

And Judge, being as for now middle schoolers often debate in high school, your decisions should be based (I would think) soley on your kids ability and and dedication.

 

Good luck to your team.

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why NOT let them debate? I mean, sure, it boosts their ego, but what's more important is that it makes them better debaters; the more challenge, the better for the entire sport/activity, right?

 

Plus, as for the ego issue, they'll eventually grow out of it. And if they have the opportunity, they sure as hell should take it. Even if they debate ONE HIGH SCHOOL ROUND in 8th grade, they won't be allowed to debate in novice as a freshman. So that erases all the worries over fairness

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It boosts their ego. We all know debate makes you smart and not only that it makes you feel smart. Its hard enough for highschoolers to handle it, much less and 8th grader. If you feel smart and you act like you know it all that can be considered arrogance. Which is also called: having a big head, being a know it all, being a smart ass, having a big ego. At leasts in highschool you can control it better. In middleschool, as an 8th grader you thinking youre better than everyone can lead to major social problems that can follow you into highschool. All of that ego doesn't fit a 13-14 year old.

 

That argument is so retarted I refuse to even answer it. Next.

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That argument is so retarted I refuse to even answer it. Next.

As retarded as it maybe it is still a WARRANTED reason why 8th graders shouldn't debate that isn't based on fairness. So I might not make sense but I answered your request.

 

I serve at the pleasure of Karlin

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As retarded as it maybe it is still a WARRANTED reason why 8th graders shouldn't debate that isn't based on fairness. So I might not make sense but I answered your request.

 

I serve at the pleasure of Karlin

 

 

No its not warranted you ageist fuck.

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No its not warranted you ageist fuck.

Ageist? Im not ageist 8th graders just shouldn't be allowed to debate in highschool and still be considered novice. Not that they shouldn't debate at all. Some people in this forum are saying that but I'm just saying they shouldn't be able to debate 9th grade as novice. Fairness is regards to novice, ego is linked to both.

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IMO, No.

 

This issue has been around I know since I have been around- but now it is becoming more common. Of course I think starting in Middle School is great and will help you by the time you are in 9th grade. BUT- It isn't fair playing ground to schools who can't get a Middle School team (let alone there aren't enough HS teams).

 

Nothing is fair in debate. Not the resources. Not the teams. Not the coaching. Not the students. This is no different. If it's allowed by the GFCA, than I don't have a problem with it.

 

Actually to think about it- I really don't like the whole idea of MS Debate just because I know at the Westminster tournament this year- the top Fayette team at the time hit the Westminster teams (who this is their 3rd year debating) in Novice. The kids knew everything. I am sorry but maybe that is just me, but it doesn't help your kids when they get "gang banged" [as they refer to it.]

 

Getting beat helps your skills.

 

I think that putting 8th graders in HS Debate also doesn't do justice to State and National tournaments.

 

Which are mostly silly anyways. The best GA teams don't even bother to go to State (usually), and NFL/CFL/Whatever are increasingly irrelevant.

 

 

It gets to the point where everything in debate will be controlled by the teams who have great feeder MS.

 

The playing field is already imbalanced and MS's are already training grounds.

 

For example, tournaments like Trion this year we had our Novice run Varsity. Well when they hit someone- they asked how many years have you been debating. We got a fifth year debater [who is a sophomore]. The same student was in JV Nats and JV State. This is not fair to students who have only debated 2-4 years.

 

Again - it's not fair anyway. Your kids will never be as prepped or experienced as others.

 

 

 

That said - I'm OK with it. Guess it just means we need to start spreading debate to the dozens of feeder MS's we have to draw from as a magnet school in Cobb. Currently we only recruit from High Meadows, but that can change :)

 

 

As far as Karlin - I kind of agree, using physical age to detract from the mental ability of 8th graders (or any physically younger than you) is silly, ageist, and dehumanizing. As someone who regularly experienced such rhetoric in MS, HS - it's not warranted and totally baseless.

 

I also agree with micfields2000 that MS debate is silly once mastered anyway. Why not let these kids move up and compete?

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I was wondering about an issue and I looked in the White Book and came across interesting things about 8th graders and their involvement.

 

They can do debate according to GHSA but only JV and Novice. Therefore they can't participate in Open/Varsity tournaments-- which is something i didn't know.

 

Just a little thing I found .. thought I'd share.

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