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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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Allow us to begin this conversation with a bit of word association. Specifically, imagine the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, “forensics.” The first concept most people associate whenever we have mentioned a job as “Director of Forensics” is a life devoted to scientific police work that solves crimes and makes the world safer. Almost. Everyone. This includes family that knows we hold a “Communication” degree (whatever that is) three times over. Solving. Crimes. And thus we arrive at the heart of our assigned case: to solve the crime of ignorance, of mistaken identity, toward an often relinquished field of argumentative practice and performative praxis, competitive speech and debate (aka, forensics). Indeed, for most unknowing parties it is easier to conceptualize actor David Caruso raising his sunglasses, after a bad pun on a hot Miami day, just as the scene breaks into the The Who screaming, “Yeeeaaaoooow!” than it is to picture a working profession where travelers roam the Interstate roads and highways to backwaters schools on weekends in an effort to display works-in-action of a liberal arts education.1 There is a crime committed, and our community does work in the shadows to bring justice in the most democratic of ways imaginable. Our mission with this book is to help fight this injustice in the best way we know possible, through voicing a collection of diverse and informed experiences, stories, philosophies, research, conformed to a style that we present as contemporary...

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