Boston Debate League

History of
Debate-Inspired
Classrooms

The impetus for the BDL’s Debate-Inspired Classrooms program came from the Boston Public Schools (BPS),
who tasked the BDL with figuring out a way for more students in member schools to gain the tremendous academic
and social benefits of debate.

In consultation with the BPS Academic Superintendent for High Schools and the leaders of our member schools,
the BDL concluded that the most effective way to bring debate’s benefits to all students would be through a coordinated professional development program that trains teachers to employ debate as a pedagogical tool in their classrooms
across all academic disciplines.

Evolution of the name:
Debate Across the Curriculum → 
Evidence Based Argumentation → 
Debate-Inspired Classrooms

The name reflects a holistic approach of teaching and learning in which students are engaged in critical discourse, collaboration, and argumentation.

 

Historical engagement/reached

Over the past decade, the BDL has partnered with 14 Boston Public Schools, more than 500 middle and high school teachers, and 7k students in multi-year collaborations dedicated to fostering classrooms centered in student agency, discourse, critical thinking, and collaboration. 

Teacher Resources

Grad Class