"Debate is a uniquely beneficial educational tool…The creation of an argument is one of the most complex cognitive acts that a person can engage in…requiring conversion between thought, written rhetoric and oral rhetoric"
Jeffrey Parcher Georgetown University, 1998
How Does It Work?
Kids like to compete and teachers like to teach. A student’s worst fear is embarrassment in front of their peers. Tell a student to read a book or do homework and their interest is often not piqued. However, tell a student they will be debating and cross-examined by a classmate and they suddenly have an incentive to read not just one book, but four or five, to feel that they are fully prepared.
When the debate happens, teachers watch their kids grow before their eyes. The switch-side nature of ALOUD’s debate model (teams prepare for both the affirmative and the negative) means that an argument made by an opponent in the previous round, may be advanced by your team in the next. The recognition of arguments concretizes the development of critical thinking perceived by teachers. The result? Motivated teachers and students form a cycle of success that accelerates learning and opens new possibilities.
Beyond competition, ALOUD’s model positions debate as an instrument of understanding that builds civic discourse in diverse sectors and captures the imagination of individuals and groups who are excited by what it can do for a young person.
An innovative program is most valuable when it’s accompanied by the tools and services needed to succeed. Endorsed by the American Forensics Association and the Cross Examination Debate Association, ALOUD creates a customized solution and provides technical assistance at every step to guarantee success. ALOUD’s easy-to-use, technology-rich approach helps teachers bring standards-based instruction into their classrooms. The instructional design incorporates practical activities with inquiry-based learning around current events.
ALOUD’s partner services provide the perfect compliment to the Winning Links program. By aligning execution with strategy, ALOUD improves the effectiveness of each partner. Featuring a team with over a century of debate experience, ALOUD provides technical assistance identifying assets and maintaining quality. Assistance is available in ten areas: fund development, organizational development, recruitment strategies, technology integration, event planning, evaluation & assessment, marketing, communications, professional development and quality assurance. With ALOUD’s help, partners provide their funders, students, parents, politicians, and administrators with clear metrics and tangible benchmarks.
Tell a student to read a book to learn and they might not listen. Tell a student they will be debating a classmate and they will read not just one book but four or five to avoid potential embarrassment among their peers.