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The value of debate

Construction zone ahead

Do you have a debater in your family? Whether a student is preparing to be a teacher, lawyer, or corporate manager, the experience of formal debate will influence the way he or she thinks, speaks, and acts. At Patrick Henry College, we believe that debate is one of the most effective ways to help students become persuasive communicators. In the three main types of debate, PHC students are demonstrating exceptional success.

Policy and value debate
The National Education Debate Association (NEDA) sponsors policy and value debate. This is a typical style of public-forum debate in which teams compete to win an argument based on evidence. Colleges in NEDA participate in eight tournaments per year-four based on value resolutions and four based on policy resolutions. The competitions culminate in an annual national tournament.

Parliamentary debate
Considered one of the most exciting and difficult forms of collegiate debate, parliamentary debate is extemporaneous, requires participants to think on their feet, and demands a broad knowledge of world affairs. It is sponsored by the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA), one of the largest collegiate debate leagues in the United States.

Not only must parliamentary debaters have all of the skills and dedication needed for policy debate, but they must also understand parliamentary procedure and have the confidence to enter a debate round without knowing the other team's argument.

PHC students have competed in parliamentary debate tournaments from California to Pennsylvania, gaining national attention with their success. Debate topics range from Greek philosophers to the effects of the Federal Reserve.

Out of 23 schools that competed at the American Collegiate Moot Court Association's annual tournament, PHC tool first, second, and third place.

Moot court
Long an honored competition in law school, moot court has only recently arrived in the undergraduate sphere. In a simulated courtroom, two teams of "co-counsels" present arguments for one or the other side of a legal matter before a panel of judges (usually practicing attorneys or even actual judges). In the next round, teams must defend the opposite position.

Cases may be real or hypothetical. PHC's most notable moot court victories came last year when our team twice defeated Balliol College of Oxford University-once in England and once in the Supreme Court of Virginia.

By training students to present and defend the truth, debate is molding a new generation of effective leaders. For more information, contact us at visit www.phc .edu or call 1-888-338-1776.