English information


English information: Czech Debate Association

The Czech Debate Association (Asociace debatních klubů, ADK) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit civic association. It has been established with the aim of promotion of spiritual values, humanitarian goals and advancement of education and culture in the Czech Republic. In the spheres of education, attainments and social the association helps in active self-education. In its activities the ADK is backed by Sir Popper's idea of building-up of the open society, that being mainly characterised by freedom and responsibility, democracy and peace. The aim of the ADK is to - through the medium of entertaining competitive debates - educate young people in the Czech republic and to lead them is such a way that K. Popper's ideals would become their norm in building up both their own personalities and the whole society as well. Debate competitions are not a goal but rather a means in fulfilling this popularly desirable goal.

The association organises in the Czech Republic the international Karl Popper Debate Programme - competitions of young people in academic debating.

Competitive academic debating is an extracurricular activity developing in a drawing way skills of critical thinking, argumentation and rhetoric and deepening knowledge of participants. In its ultimate consequence debating promotes values of tolerance and critical respect to opinion of others. At debate tournaments controversial, usually known-beforehand motions are debated.

Debate competitions are held in English and Czech; however, the ADK is ready to offer debating as a means of language perfection for students of French, German, Spanish or Russian. Debate tournaments are organised for basic school children, for children with special needs, secondary schools and universities. Debate formats vary depending on the age of participants reflecting respective needs of each age cathegory. Special care is paid to incorporation of Roma children and youth to share the benefits of debate programmes.

The Open Society Fund Prague has introduced the Karl Popper Debate Programme to the Czech Republic in 1995. The OSF Prague managed and financed the programme until January 1999 when the ADK came into being. Currently the ADK wins its finances through grants from both governmental and non-governmnetal agencies and local authorities. The association welcomes sponsorship of its individual undertakings. At the same time the ADK looks for its future general partner.

Activities of the ADK include namely organisation of competitions in academic debate and training and seminars for those interested in communication from amongst the ranks of students, teachers and general public. The ADK annually runs its summer camp focused on timely societal issue.

The ADK wants to be an open organisation, open to anybody interested in its activities under the conditions set by its statutes. The ADK members participate at the programme on the basis of voluntary work and their own interest. The aim of the ADK is not to create association of young intellectuals but to create and offer opportunities for anybody who seeks self-perfection.

The Czech Debate Association aims to create in the Czech Republic an alternative to methods of education currently used at schools and to offer its own as well as international experience with the work with young people on the basis of building mutually responsible relationship towards educational process.

ADK is an establishing member of the International Debate Education Association IDEA .

ADK contact address ADK, c./o. Václav Soukup, Příběnická 10, 130 00 Praha 3, (executive director), The Czech Republic.
e-mail: prezident/at/debatovani.cz,

You may also wish to contact coordinator for international activities: Dušan Hrabánek, e-mail: zahranici/at/debatovani.cz

The Aims and Objectives of the KPDP in the Czech Republic The ultimate goal of the KPDP program in the CR is first and foremost learning . The difference between debate and the “normal” school-type learning is that debating has an indisputable advantage in its enormous motivation for the students. For them, learning seems to be means, a tool to achieve their own short-term goal - a win in a debate. They do not learn for learning itself as is often the case with a “normal” school-type education, but rather learning becomes their necessary equipment to achieve their goal.
While preparing themselves for the competitions they then (both intentially and unintentially) fulfill the long-term objectives of the KPDP in the CR that are to be seen in following spheres:

a) education
b) attainments
c) social

a)Within the sphere of education the KPDP recognises following objectives:
- to help form desirable patterns of behaviour and value scales, notably:
- by developing a sense of fair play
- by developing teamwork skills
- by strengthening self-esteem by giving them the courage to publicly present and support their work as well as to publicly evaluate other’s opinions
- by learning decent public behaviour

b)The attainments sphere
can be further sub-divided into several important sub-categories. Basically the goal of the KPDP in the CR within this specific category is to help its participants to deepen their knowledge in an entertaining and competitive way.
As A. J. Toynbee, a prominent British historian, once said: “The aim of debating is to learn, not to win. Or rather learning is the only form of victory which makes sense.”

Specifically, KPDP in the CR sets the following objectives within the attainments category:
- to deepen knowledge about the peculiarities of speech
- to teach skills of composing a meaningful speech
- to develop skills of presenting a public speech in an accomplished and meaningful way
- to teach and develop the ability to speak quickwittedly, promptly, in an intertesting manner and matter-of-factedly
- to help build vocabulary, clarify the importance of non-verbal communication and “voice-work”, and to help employ these in practice

ii)Information handling
- to develop (both in theory and in practice) research skills and the ability to organize and utilize information
- to further their ability to distinguish fact from opinion, to recognize the possible problems in information sources, and to competently analyze the relativity, reliability, and interpretation of information
- to deepen their ability to use gathered information in everyday life and societal decisions

iii)Using the IT
- to help increase skills of using modern high tech IT for informational and educational purposes

- to introduce problematics of logical reasoning
- to deepen ability and skills to
- construct logical arguments
- detect argumentation fallacies
- distinguish between relevant and irrelevant, major and minor arguments
- support an argument by relevant proof

v) Ethics
- to develop the ability to see a dialogue within a broader context, notably within the context of information and argumentation logic
- to broaden the philosophical roots of discourse as a means to fuller self-recognition and discovering truth

c) Social sphere
Thanks to the KPDP activities in the CR, many people who share an interest in self-improvement have become acquinted and many new friendships have been established. Teachers from all over the country and the world who genuinely care about their students future intellectual development have been given the opportunity to meet and share their ideas. This also belongs among the goals of the debate program in this country.
We stress that all of the above mentioned objectives are met in an entertaining way. That is why, perhaps, debating is more and more popular among young people in this country and is sought as a popular extra-curricural activity. This interest is then further made use of by the teachers of Czech and English languages, history, social sciences and other school subjects, who, through debating, have discovered an effective tool to help fulfill educational and attainments goals in their own respective subjects.