Crossover of debate and philosophy methodology


This project aims at strengthening a new generation’s critical skills, mental openness, argumentative capacity and democratic values with debate and philosophy education. In ‘Philosophy: In the days of the Athenian polis (5th century BC), public speaking, debate and philosophy were the cornerstones of democratic life. Philosophy had the form of a dialogue between people with contrasting points of view, while philosophers taught the art of persuasion to citizens attending the ‘Ekklèsia’, the principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens. In contemporary secondary schools however, debate clubs and philosophy classes have become separate worlds that, regrettably, seldom interfere. This results in knowledge and skill waste and lowers the potential impact debating skills and philosophical thinking could have on strengthening democracy and fighting populism.


Therefore, the objectives of the ADAPT project are fourfold:

• To adapt the key ideas, principles and thought experiments of philosophy to the needs of debate coaches

• To adapt the training methods in competitive debate to the needs of philosophy teachers

• To develop a joint methodology for debate coaches and philosophy teachers that results in innovative educational materials and teaching methods

• To implement the Debate & Philosophy methodology in philosophy classrooms and research its effectivity


Objectives, activities and impact

Within the project we will develop: 

• A teacher’s manual with the title: ‘Debate & Philosophy – A joint methodology for debate coaches and philosophy teachers’
• A collection of classroom worksheets (available for download in PDF format, A3 size), that showcase the Debate & Philosophy methodology at a glance
• A set of 3D-printed icons that depict the various argumentative elements that occur in debates. The 3D models can be downloaded and 3D-printed in order to experience the Debate & Philosophy methodology in a visual and tactile way
• A dedicated website at the URL http://debateandphilosophy.com, which offers an overview of the ADAPT project and the option to download both the classroom worksheets and the 3D-models
• A Debate & Philosophy YouTube channel, containing a collection of interviews with top-ranked philosophy teachers and debate coaches


Consortium and partners

Coordinator: Tilburg University (Netherlands) 


Consortium: four schools (Wolfert Bilingual School, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Gimnazija Ledina, ljubljana, Slovenia; Privatna klasicna gimnazija, Zagreb, Croatia; ITE Enrico Tosi, Busto Arsizio, Italy), two universities (Tilburg University, The Netherlands; Erasmus School of Philosophy, The Netherlands), and three associations (Za in Proti, Slovenia; Hrvatsko Debatno Drustvo, Croatia; The Noisy Classroom Ltd, UK)


Key info:

Project is co-funded by the European Union (EU Commission) 

Programme: Erasmus+

Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practises

Action type: Strategic Partnership of school education