Debate Impact Evaluation

Eight European debate organisations, including IDEA NL, have started a study on the impact of debate on school children aged 14-18 in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovakia. We are looking at the effect that debating might have on on logical reasoning and political values.

In order to study this, ADK, ARDOR, DC, EDC, EDS, IDEA NL, SDA and YEF have contacted schools and debate clubs in their countries to conduct a number of studies. These include a test at the beginning and the end of the year in which high school students are compared on a number of factors between debaters and non-debaters. Debaters will also be asked for their opinion on certain issues. In addition, the activities in debate clubs is monitored, and debaters are asked to evaluate the activities in their clubs.

This research was designed with the aid of a team of experts in the field of evaluation and education. We ask participants to give certain background details (such as gender, age, school) in order to compare answers at group level. We ensure confidentiality and anonymity throughout the research process, data collection, analysis and presentation of results. The results of the study will be analysed in the summer of 2016 and presented in the fall and winter of 2016-2017.

The findings of the research will be used to improve the quality of debate education in all participating countries. The project is supported by a grant from Erasmus+ in the field of youth. 

This project is funded 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.