(The hyperlinks above take you to an approximately three-minute video excerpt of interviews with two of the guest speakers at the Mackinac Center’s 2005 High School Debate Workshops: Mike Winther, a debate coach in Modesto, Calif., and Richard Edwards, professor of communication studies at Baylor University. In this video they discuss the educational and intellectual benefits of debate and why the Mackinac Center’s annual Debate Workshop is an effective way for students and teachers to hone their forensic skills and for the Center to reach the policymakers and educators of tomorrow. They also discuss the shortcomings of education regarding the U.S. Constitution in American classrooms — a natural topic given this year’s national high school debate resolution, which concerns the balance between national security and civil liberties.
Since 1988, thousands of Michigan students have participated in the one-day workshops, which are designed to enhance the debate season for all schools through informative speakers, free materials and up-to-date news and research on the debate topic. This year’s workshops took place in Grand Rapids, Jackson, Livonia and Traverse City.)