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Debate education in Lithuania evaluated

On the 17th of December, the dissemination seminar took place in Vilnius. Youth workers/teachers and representatives of different youth organizations gathered together to discuss the current situation of debate education in Lithuania.

Aušra Pocienė made the presentation „The influence of debate education on youth and possibilities to assess debate education practice“ („Debatų švietimo įtaka jaunimo auditorijai ir debatų švietimo įvertinimo galimybės“)

A.Pocienė presented the general idea of international scientific research that was organized and implemented by Educational Debate Centre, Lithuania in cooperation with IDEA in the period of 2015-2016.

Presentation had two aims. The first (specific one) aim was to show the audience how changes (probably caused by debate education influence) in critical thinking and political and democratic values could be measured. The second (general one) was to present, what tools of debate practice assessment have been employed in this international research and what (probably) could be adapted and used in the future at national (Lithuanian) level.

It was stressed that firstly, the research was important on international level as far as it would give possibility to see the context and make comparisons of eight European countries practicing debate education. Secondly, but no less important, the research was also an event on national level as for the first time in 20 years that debate education was practiced in Lithuania, the assessment, based on scientific principles, was made.

A.Pocienė also described the methodological complexity of research: collecting quantitative and qualitative data and methods that were used, different target groups approached, etc. She also noted the distinctiveness of the research – the longitudinal experimental design involved in the study. She also mentioned that not only the results (changes in thinking; learning; behaving) of debate education were measured, but also the background and context were assessed (club size, activity, coaches’ experience, etc.). Lessons learned and limitations of research were discussed as well.

The participants also watched and evaluated debate rounds of the National debate tournament on prepared motion: „THBT it is legitimate for parents to encourage children to invest in their physical attractiveness“ and impromptu (unprepared) motions: “THW criminalise breaking of pre-election promises by politicians” and  “THW allow the sale and purchase of babies”. 

The event was made possible with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

 

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