Beoordeling van opvoedkundige debattering : toegepas op die kompetisie van die Junior Rapportryerbeweging
Schutte, Paul Jacobus
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The main aim of this study was to identify criteria for the adjudication ("judging": American English) of academic debate. Criteria were identified by an initial study in comparative literature in order to arrive at scientifically acceptable criteria for the six skills, viz. analysis, evidence, reasoning, attack and defense, organization and presentation. These criteria were then discussed and applied to five of the twenty-five debates which had been initially studied. The debates were recorded on tape and later transcribed. The study follows the following lines: Chapter 1 deals with the importance of academic debate, and the role of the adjudicator is placed in perspective. In Chapter 2 the aims and objectives of academic debate are briefly looked into. The main judging philosophies are discussed viz. the evaluation of skills and the weighing of issues. This is followed by a discussion of the attributes of the ideal adjudicator. Finally the debate ballot in general and the ballot of the "Junior Rapportryerbeweging" (henceforth referred to as JR) particularly, are critically assessed. In Chapters 3-8 the criteria for the six above-mentioned skills are scrutinised, after which they are applied to each of the five debates. Chapter 9 offers a resumé of the findings of the study. The general standard is unsatisfactory: analysis is below standard, evidence and reasoning are poor, attack and defense are very poor, the organization of material is average, and the presentation itself is above average. The unsatisfactory standard of the debates proved the assumption that this competition should be viewed as a test of skills. The following recommendations are made: * that adjudicaters should fulfill a coaching rather than a judging function; that time be set aside for verbal criticism after each debate, and that debaters be evaluated by awarding a symbol or mark for their degree of competence in each of the six skills; * that the JR organize courses for the training of prospective adjudicators; * that the time limit of speeches be extended to eight minutes for constructive and four minutes for rebuttal speeches, to improve the quality of argumentation; * that cross-examination be abolished and the available time be used for longer speeches and verbal criticism; * that the JR no longer supply propositions of facts, since it is the least suitable for academic debate; instead, that propositions of policy be used to familiarize the debaters with the process of problem solution; * that the JR use only one proposition per year, since this will enable debaters to eliminate previous errors and result in the deepening of argumentation; * that the debate ballot be simplified, since the current ballot does not comply with the aims of academic debate (two alternative forms are proposed); and * that the JR incorporate a rule, stating that debaters supply proof of the correctness and authenticity of the evidence used, should the adjudicator demand it, to eliminate the use of incorrect data. The competition organized by the JR provides a necessary training school for democratic citizens of the future. The JR can, however, contribute even more, should the educational aspects which are at the moment neglected, receive the proper attention.
- Humanities