Influence of competitive debate practice on the ability to identify fallacies
Debate practice is often considered a sufficient condition for acquiring argument
skills. However, this statement is supported only by anecdotal or irrelevant
evidence, and it likely suffers from oversimplification of the learning-
by-doing pedagogical perspective. Therefore, the purpose of the preexperimental
survey was to determine whether debate practice improves
the ability to identify fallacies. To assure the outcomes were not influenced
by other factors, students’ attitudes on items topic were monitored. Results
showed that mere debate practice did not improve the ability to identify argument
fallacies and that this outcome was not dependent on the students’
attitudes on items topic. Therefore, this survey suggests rethinking the ways
in which this activity is designed in order to make debate practice more effective.
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