Post-Grant Reports


Debate Education on the Inside: Pedagogical Practices for Basic and Advanced Argumentation at a Maximum Security Male Prison

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Criminology | Education | Speech and Rhetorical Studies


The overarching goals for this project were to teach a debate course in the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) and to publish a scholarly article about the process of working with inmates in this educational endeavor. The debate course took place over an eight-week period in June and July of 2014. Overall, 18 inmates were enrolled in the “beginning debate” course and 7 inmates were enrolled in the “advanced debate” course. The Linfield student collaborator, Megan Schwab, taught the “beginning” course and the faculty member, Jackson Miller, taught the “advanced” course. Two students from Willamette University who graciously volunteered their time also assisted us with some of the course sessions. Initial research for the scholarly article also took place over the same eight-week period. The work during this time produced a comprehensive literature review as well as drafts of many short narratives about specific teaching techniques and some of the unique challenges involved in teaching debate at a prison.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2014, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

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