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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 18: Substantive Discourse and Pedagogy: Fostering Conversations About Race/Ethnicity, Sex/Gender, and Social Class Within Forensics (Tomeka Robinson / Sean Allen)

Extract

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CHAPTER   EIGHTEEN

Substantive Discourse and Pedagogy: Fostering Conversations About Race/Ethnicity, Sex/Gender, and Social Class Within Forensics

TOMEKA ROBINSON AND SEAN ALLEN

 

Most would argue that the forensic community is among the most accepting, progressive, and open-minded segments of the American population. However, women and minority competitors continually face a myriad of challenges from representation in the activity to acceptance of literature and evidence from non-white and female authors. Issues of adequate representation of minorities and women has received some attention, particularly the effects of in-groups and outgroups in speaking. In context, the in-group would be white, heterosexual, cisgender male. Therefore, research has suggested that minorities have traditionally been viewed as an out-group, or those who may not belong thus causing some defensiveness by the in-groups.1

In a study by Billings, sixty-one percent of all respondents argued that minorities are negatively stigmatized at forensic competitions.2 Other scholars have exposed the challenges of minority competitors and argue for more inclusiveness within the activity, and point to racism, sexism, and the reinforcement of a dominant value system as responsible for discouraging women and minorities from continued participation and success in debate.3

While participation has received some attention, little focus has been placed on the issue of topic selection and the acceptance of diverse perspectives as evidence. Students select topics and read information that supports their ideologies and mirrors their lived experiences.4 For example, a person who has...

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