DebateAble's curriculum emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills and a tolerance for differing viewpoints, instilling an appreciation for the value of teamwork. Our debate program and format are inspired by the International Debate Education Association, which focuses on education – not competition – as the goal of debates. DebateAble students work together in teams of three to present supporting arguments and are provided with research materials regarding the session's topic, or "resolution." Distilling the research is an important part of the DebateAble program, as is learning to debate both sides of any topic, actively listening to the arguments of opposing teams, and realizing that there is more than one way of thinking about any single question.
DebateAble's curriculum and games are geared toward third through sixth graders, and can be implemented as after-school clubs or in the classroom during the school day. After five years of developing our curriculum through classroom lessons, after school clubs and camps in the greater Seattle area, we have made our Curriculum Package available nationwide so that any school, individual, or other organization throughout the country can easily provide the same DebateAble debate instruction to their students that has been so successful for students in the Seattle School District.
Gwen Dewar, PHD
Alfred Snider, World Debate Institute
Dee Burek and Carol Losos
Paul Deards, Education Week
Rodie Akerman, Ian Neale, Research Report
DebateAble LLC was founded in 2012, with the goal of bringing a debate club program to elementary students in Seattle neighborhood schools... and beyond. Here's some information about the founders.
Elizabeth Kruse, Director and Co-Founder
Elizabeth practiced law in New York City for more than 10 years as an Assistant District Attorney, prosecuting homicides and other felony criminal cases. Since relocating to Seattle in 2002, Elizabeth has worked in and out of the legal field. In 2011, she was employed as the Debate Program Manager for Successful Schools in Action where she ran an elementary, inter school debate program, before founding DebateAble in 2012. Elizabeth and her husband, John, have two sons in Seattle Public Schools.
"One of the highlights of my work with SSIA was their overwhelmingly successful Debate Tournament, where every participating student-- regardless of personal skill set--demonstrated intellect, courage, critical thinking skills and empathy during the debate competitions. I am very excited to introduce debate club and tournaments and all that comes with them to another wonderful group of fourth and fifth grade students."
Margot Saharic, Co-Founder
Margot spent 16 years in Sales, Marketing, and Channel Management in New York and Seattle. Margot and her husband, Troy, have two daughters in Seattle Public Schools.
"My older daughter participated in a program similar to DebateAble's when she was in 4th grade. It was such a fun and educational experience for her that when the program was no longer available, I reached out to Elizabeth to see how we could bring a debate club program specifically for elementary students back to her school, as well as to other schools in the area. I hope that with our engaging curriculum and debate matches and tournaments we can foster a love of inquiry, linguistics, civilized debate and discussion among our elementary students. I look forward to growing this program to include other elementary and K-8 schools in the future."
CREATIVE THINKING PUBLIC SPEAKING COLLABORATIVE TEAMWORK EMPATHY CIVIL DISCOURSE