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Teachers should be replaced by computers

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/16/2015 Category: Technology
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 344 times Debate No: 75376
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
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Computers Cannot Replace Teachers Because A Computer Cannot Understand How A Student Feels And Cannot Interact With Them.


Thank you for the opportunity to debate; I accept your challenge as the affirmative. Before beginning the round, I would like to start out by defining the terms in the resolution, and setting a judging calculus for the round.

Teachers: K-12 instructors of education in America.
Should be: Something that needs to be done based upon failures in the status quo.
replaced: Used instead of.
Computers: Robots (machines) with the capability to teach humans at each grade level and lack human ambition, except to teach at a high level.

Framework: Since this is such a short debate, a simple net benefits framework will serve well for today's debate. The audience should look at refutations and impacts that mitigates net benefits.

1st: To your point that a robot teacher cannot understand how a student feels, this point is demonstrably false. In fact, as David Johnson, Intel futurist and famous author, explains, "[if] children [have] different learning styles or learning disabilities, robots can be excellent teachers and learning companions (1)." These robots have the ability to adapt to the different needs of children based upon their needs and feelings.
2nd: Regarding your point about interaction, robots are actually great at interacting with children. As Johnson continues to explain, "unlike computers or tablets, robots are social and can connect with children." In addition, "In Birmingham, England, a robot named Nao helps teach children with autism. Because a robot has no concept of personal space or awkwardness, Nao can teach without setting off a chain of unsuccessful social interactions (1)."
Analysis: Robots are social machines with the ability to interact with normal children and interact with children of special needs.

Contention 1: The US is lagging behind in education due to inefficiency and attrition.

As the Washington Post finds, "while U.S. teenagers were average in reading and science, their scores were below average in math, compared to 64 other countries and economies that participated in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA. That pattern has not changed much since the PISA test was first given in 2000 (2)."
Analysis: Students are only average or below average in the core subjects.

Pearson points out that the US used to be number one in the for world for education, but is now ranked 14th (3).
Analysis: America is lagging behind other nations in overall Education rankings.

According to Ithaka researchers, "results indicate that [robot taught] students took about one-quarter less time to achieve essentially the same learning outcomes as traditional-format students (4)."
Analysis: Robots are more efficient and provide a greater base of knowledge for the students, which in turn will make them more competitive in the globalized economy.

According to The Center for Longitudinal Data in Education Research, "An increase in teacher turnover by 1 standard deviation corresponded with a decrease in math achievement of 2 percent of a standard deviation; students in grade levels with 100 percent turnover were especially affected, with lower test scores by anywhere from 6 percent to 10 percent of a standard deviation based on the content area." In addition, a [2014] report from the Alliance for Excellent Education shows that roughly half a million U.S. teachers move or leave the profession each year. That"s a turnover rate of about 20 percent compared to 9 percent in 2009 (5)."
Analysis: attrition rates are increasing exponentially in the US, and they are directly hindering the education in the US.

Impacts from contention 1:
1st: US will continue to be outpaced due to inefficiency and attrition, which will make us lose our spot among the world leaders. This is horrendous because it will lower economic opportunity in the US.
2nd: The status quo will continue to have provide a poor quality of education, and noting that education is essential for children and adolescents, the children will perform worse without a good base. This means companies are less likely to hire the under performing students, which will result in a net loss of middle and upper class jobs in America. Because of all this, American quality of life is worsened.

Net benefits from contention 1:
1st: We're more competitive, which allows us better standing in the world economy so we'll be able to create more jobs.
2nd: Because robots are more competitive, there will be a better and more efficient education, which is preferable to corporations. With this, companies are more likely to higher in America, and there will be a net increase in jobs in America.

Contention 2: Robots will cost us less money over the long term.

Researchers from, "working with two other researchers at Harvard University, Rubenstein recently created what they call AERobot, a bot that can help teach programming and artificial intelligence to middle school kids and high schoolers. That may seem like a rather expensive luxury for most schools, but it's not. It costs just $10.70 ("6.84). The hope is that it can help push more kids into STEM, studies involving science, technology, engineering, and maths (6)."
Analysis: Robots are much less expensive than conventional teachers.

1st: continues to waist money which could be spent on infrastructure and health care, which will hurt the quality of life for the citizens

Net Benefits:
1st: We save money, which means we have more money to spend on other needs. We can spend money on infrastructure, better healthcare, and more efficient education. This will create happier citizens due to a better functioning society.

Good luck!

Debate Round No. 1


MirandaSummers forfeited this round.


austinpt7 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by EmperorFresh 1 year ago
2nd point in the refutation was whack the guy made a statement, I don't really think it should be taken as fact, especially since there are no long-term statistics to showcase whether or not it is objectively superior. Chinese students have very strict, teacher-led learning and manage to score the highest out of everyone (followed by Singapore & Taiwan).

I also have concern over the source, and subsequent argument, regarding contention 1, namely the Ithaka study. Especially the stipulation that it was completely "robot-taught" which is blatant misinformation. Directly from the study/paper itself it said, and I quote, "a hybrid format (with machine-guided instruction accompanied by one hour of face-to-face instruction each week)". They go on to make it a point that they do not intend on phasing out face-to-face instruction, but to, rather, supplement the curriculum and provide a more customized experience. This clearly shows that the study was neither intended nor had the goal of "robot-lead instruction" as was suggested.

Also, through further reading it was said that "although there are a handful of small differences that are statistically significant, in general, the differences between students taught in the traditional format and students taught in the hybrid format are not meaningful", and just a few pages later this thought is reinforced with the quote: "We find no statistically significant differences in learning outcomes between students in the traditional " and hybrid-format sections."

Aside from that everything else checks out. Just some whack stuff, yo
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