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Competition, Community, and Educational Growth

Contemporary Perspectives on Competitive Speech and Debate

Edited By Kristopher Copeland and Garret L. Castleberry

Competition, Community, and Educational Growth: Contemporary Perspectives on Competitive Speech and Debate is an up-to-date text providing informed academic thought concerning the impact of forensics. Its primary focus is to demonstrate how the forensic activity allows students to actively engage and learn outside the classroom. Specifically, Competition, Community, and Educational Growth focuses on how students educationally grow through the activity. The book frames methods and pedagogy as best practices to provide educational growth for students and explicitly connect learning outcomes for students. Coming from the perspective of higher educational instructors, the book provides insight beyond the high school experience. Competition, Community, and Educational Growth examines contemporary perspectives on competitive speech and debate theory, experience, and methods of instruction.

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Chapter 16: Spreading the Forensic Gospel to Create Community: Targeting Traditional and Non-traditional Populations for Involvement in Forensics (Aaron Duncan / Abbie M. Syrek)

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CHAPTER   SIXTEEN

Spreading the Forensic Gospel to Create Community: Targeting Traditional and Non-traditional Populations for Involvement in Forensics

AARON DUNCAN AND ABBIE M. SYREK

 

One of the primary tasks of forensic directors, student competitors, and forensic alumni is spreading the forensic gospel to convert as many people as we can to our cause. As coaches and educators we know that forensics is a powerful educational activity, but without focused effort, forensics can become isolated, removed from the thoughts and support of campus administrators and even the local community.1 When we fail to connect with outside groups, we not only limit the scope of our students’ advocacy and artistic performances, but we fail to convey to administrators and community leaders that forensics is an activity worth their time, energy, and investment. Connecting with outside groups can both enrich our activity and ensure its viability for the future. This chapter examines the strengths and weaknesses of various traditional and non-traditional methods for building the forensic community and reflects on our experiences with each. Traditional strategies include the recruitment of lay or non-professional judges, and public showcases of forensic events held on campus. Such events are important because they connect forensics to audiences composed of administrators, colleagues, students, future students, and community leaders.

However, there are also a variety of audiences that have been largely ignored, including rural communities and urban youth. We argue that we also need ← 175...

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