Debate, Diversity, and Adult Learners: The Experiences of Foreign Nationals in the U.S. State Department

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Abstract

From 2004–2007, the State Department conducted a series of presentation skills seminars for its foreign employees (Foreign Service Nationals). These seminars utilized a debate focus for enhancing presentation skills. Evaluation of the effectiveness of these seminars allowed for the study of debate as an educational tool for diverse adult learners. Results showed significant participant perception that debate training was understandable, stimulating, engaging, and beneficial. Heterogeneous groups (sessions with many nationalities present) reported higher levels of satisfaction than homogenous groups (sessions with participants from only one country). Discussion of these results and suggestions for additional research follow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-114
Number of pages15
JournalArgumentation and Advocacy
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • adult education
  • culture
  • debate
  • diversity
  • State Department

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