• Debate: 2022-2023

    Mr. Ostrovsky

    Rm. 107

    Email: mostrovs@houstonisd.org


    Course Description: The purpose of this course is to give the student an overview of the three major styles of academic debate. Lincoln-Douglas debates will teach the student to argue in terms of the value (morality/ethics) of a topic. Cross-Examination debate will teach the students to work as a team and to prepare arguments based upon the policy behind the issue. And, Parliamentary debate will teach the students how to be informed citizens and think on their feet. Additionally, students will develop basic public speaking skills and learn how to effectively speak to an audience. Participation in this course is paramount.


    This Debate course will entail extensive amounts of research, collaboration, and writing. Students will develop and refine their own original arguments as they create (and “test out”) their debate cases. Students will also participate in a myriad of public-speaking activities – from impromptu speech topics to premeditated speaking during in-class debates. Students will learn how to give (and receive) constructive criticism. Students will be required to work extensively with their peers on in and out of class assignments.


    All levels of experience are welcome! This classroom will offer students many challenges that are opportunities for growth; however, they will be extensively supported by both me and their peers the entire time. The course is designed to help the students become comfortable speaking in front of others, and then build upon their oration skills to get them to find their personal “style” and strength.


    The skills taught in this course are simply invaluable. Regardless of what content area a student is primarily interested in (or plans to major in, once at college), the speaking, writing, and research skills of this course will ensure their success. Countless studies have shown that the skills developed during a student’s participation in competitive debate are directly correlated with greater academic achievement and continued success (and academic stability) throughout the college years.


    As part of Carnegie’s thriving Debate culture, the students in this course will be encouraged to attend the weekly CVHS Debate Club meetings. I recommend that students (interested in participating in upcoming competitions) observe the Debate events that are offered at the 1st tournament. Students are expected to attend at least one tournament per semester, either to participate as a competitor or as an observer.





    Classroom Policies:


    YOUR RIGHTS                                and                  YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

    You have the right to:                                                 You are responsible for:

    A safe learning environment                                       Maintaining a safe learning environment

    Make choices                                                              The consequences of your choices

    Your own thoughts and ideas                                      Respecting the opinions of others

    Be treated fairly                                                          Your own actions towards others

    Be yourself                                                                  Respecting others at all times


    • Prompt attendance is expected. Students who are tardy to class violate the student handbook code of conduct and can expect consequences.


    • All student dress code rules are to be followed in my classroom. A violation of this can result in a referral to the office.


    • Absolutely no cell phones are permitted for use in my classroom, unless otherwise indicated (as determined by assignment).


    • Ear buds and other electronics are strictly prohibited in my class – unless explicit permission has been given by me for a specific assignment.


    • Respect for others (including their opinions & personal property) is expected at all times – no exceptions!


    Grating Categories:

    50%: Exams/Projects, Speeches, Performance Activities, and In-Class Debates, Quizzes, Presentations

    40%: Homework/Classwork

    10%: In-Class ParticipationSyllabus