The National Speech & Debate Association has announced a new partnership with the Boston Debate League to bring Evidence-Based Argumentation (EBA) to classrooms across the United States. The EBA professional developmentprogram helps teachers in all disciplines create a classroom environment where students regularly practice the 21st century skills of critical thinking, analysis, evaluation, questioning, and problem solving. Using EBA, teachers infuse their classroom with activities that teach a core skill of speech and debate: creating an argument on any subject by evaluating evidence, developing claims, and using sound reasoning. School districts can learn more about EBA, including sample activities and results, by visiting the EBA website.
As teachers, we must check our systems for
equity each time we walk into our classrooms. The key word here is “systems,” for
without thoughtful practices, even the most well-intentioned among us fall into
the old traps of expediency, implicit bias, and tradition. Here are a few
practical structures I use as equity checks that take very little time to
“Poetry didn’t save my life; it saved yours.” This quote has been dancing around in my head for several days now. The poet who spoke these words meant them quite literally. If it had not been for the countless hours he spent developing, drafting, and delivering his words, he very well could have been out in the streets up to no good. Additionally, without the impact of his poetic words, someone else’s life may have been negatively impacted or even lost. This sentiment, though on the negative end of the spectrum, still communicates an important message: poetry is powerful, and it changes and saves lives.