Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Kate Shuster to Keynote at 2008 Conference
Catherine "Kate" Shuster of California has been announced as the keynote speaker in the pedagogy division of the April 2008 Ljubljana conference, Thinking and Speaking a Better World.
Kate has been a worldwide leader in understanding and applying active methods in the classroom at various levels. One of her areas of emphasis has been oral literacy and how it can be successfully taught. Kate has eight recent books to her credit and a number of important works in submission. She is perhaps best known for her efforts to promote debating in middle schools. Her work in southern California to promote debating in this age group has been matchless. The Middle School Public Debate Program is the largest and fastest growing classroom and contest debate outreach program for students in fifth through eighth grade. Since its inception in 2002, more than 10,000 students from Southern California communities have participated in the program, says Kate, who teamed with Claremont McKenna College's John Meany to create the program from scratch. Her work can be seen at http://middleschooldebate.com/index.htm . Her classroom debate blog can be found at http://teachingdebate.typepad.com/.
Kate was the USA National Debate Tournament champion in 1996 and has been a driving force in the evaluation and critical reexamination of debate practice ever since. Her pedagogical focus is demonstrated by her comments about the middle school program's expansion into the Los Angeles school district. “This really is an opportunity to foster leadership and critical thinking skills, and encourage civic engagement among adolescents in the county’s most disadvantaged communities,” Shuster says.
Kate also has an outstanding reputation as a speaker and lecturer, and is known as one of the most engaging speakers anywhere.