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To argue is to know

Debating has been recognized as powerful pedagogy since Plato was engaging his students in arguments at the Academy over 2000 years ago.  Beyond developing essential critical thinking and communication skills, arguing about course content engages students, enlivens classrooms and results in deep comprehension of subject matter.  

Debate-centered instruction, or DCI, is a pedagogy appropriate for any classroom.  Quite literally, any controversial topic in any subject can be fashioned into a debate to replace essays, presentations or projects.  DCI is appropriate for any classroom, inclucing both traditional subjects like English Language Arts and Social Studies as well as
Math and Science.  Argutopia makes it easy.

We recommend the resources below to learn more about DCI.


In Resolved, Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution makes the case that DCI not only can revolutionize education in America, but teach much-needed citizenship skills to millions of students across the US.


Gerald Graff of the University of Illinois contends that argument is the foundation of the "life of the mind"that universities are intended to develop. Clueless in Academe is a call to action for all university faculty.


Columbia University's Deanna Kuhn outlines a curiculum designed to get  students arguing with each other in Argue With Me.  Supported by extensive research, Kuhn's approach produces impressive results in students' literacy.


A classic of argumentation pedagogy, Controversy in the Classroom by Diana Hess of the University of Wisconsin illuminates the connection between citizenship and argumentation skills that should be part of all classrooms.

Debate-centered instruction projects

The following projects provide excellent examples and resources for introducing DCI to your classroom.

Students During Break

Cambridge University's center for argumentation pedagogy


Robert Litan's site for debate-centered instruction resources


Home of the Florida Civics and Debate Initaitive

Children at School

Argument Centered Education promotes argumentative classrooms


The BDL offers effective methods for debate-inspired classrooms

Giving a Speech

The UK's center for oracy education, including an oracy charter school

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