National History Academy employs a parliamentary debate program which allows our students to discuss challenging modern issues, just as history’s leaders debated difficult issues at defining times of American history. This formal style of debate is designed to encourage civil discourse and was developed by our partners, the Better Angels. These debates have no judges, and there are no winners or losers. The purpose of the debates is to allow you to develop your own opinions and to stand up and advocate for your viewpoint. Your fellow students will respectfully question you by directing their thoughts to the neutral “Chair” of the debate. You will listen to their opinions. Inevitably, all students ’positions on a subject will evolve.
Seeking Common Ground
USA Today recently featured the efforts of Better Angels: One group tries to lower the volume on the high-decibel noise dividing a polarized nation.
Over the course of the summer, Academy students will engage in five debates, including self-selecting the topics, organizing your positions, and ultimately, chairing your own debates.