The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

The length of summer vacations in the American school system is harmful to education.l

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 609 times Debate No: 63690
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




I would like this debate to be about educational effectiveness and not about the cost of schools.

Con will debate why summer vacations are good for education, not for the recreation of students.

Now my argument.
There is so much time off during summer breaks, 2-4 months on average. That time causes the knowledge attained during the previous school year to fall into disuse, making it more difficult to build upon that knowledge in the upcoming school year.


Pro's contention is that the summer break instituted in the American educational system is harmful to the education of the students that go through the system. The break in school may allow a time of recreation, but it causes the student to forget certain things which he learned so that when he come back to school at the end of the summer, he is less knowledgable than when he ended the previous school year.
It is important to note that Pro does not assert that a summer break is harmful, but rather that the length of the summer break is harmful.

First off I must challenge the verasity of Pro's statement: "There is so much time off during summer breaks, 2-4 months on average." In the American educational system, students get 13 weeks off in the summer, the equivolent of 3 months. (Tim Dowling states this in his article for the Guardian:
So now that we have the length of summer breaks defined, let's get on to the actual arguments of the round.

What happens over those 3 months of summer break? Pro asserts that students will forget some of what they learned in the previous year of school. But what does that mean? That implies that the students had not learned these things by heart in the first place. If you can forget something so quickly, then you didn't know it that well. Often times the very beginning of the school year is "wasted" in review of the last school year, simply because the students have forgotten certain key things that they must know to continue their scholastic pursuits. If you boil it down, this is really what Pro is getting at: because students forget over summer break certain aspects of knowledge they learned the previous school year, the beginning of fall must be wasted on review. But maybe this isn't bad. Review is actually quite helpful.
Now before we go any further, let's take a look at the knowledge that these students "forgot". These bits of information usually aren't totally forgotten, but rather "pushed to the back of the brain". When the student reviews something he has "forgotten", let's say how to solve a type of equation, the student usually thinks to himself, "Du! I knew that..." He didn't just learn how to solve the equation, but rather was reminded of how to solve it. Through this process, the way to solve the equation, the bit of information the student "forgot" is solidified in the student's mind deeper than it otherwise would have been. So, though at first glance this fact of "forgetting" things over summer break seems harmful, it ends up solidifying the facts in the student's brain the second time through more than would otherwise be.

I believe what Pro fails to see is that there is education in the break time. Education is not limited to scholastic studies, but is the pursuit and study of knowledge. When student's get off school in the spring, they are now free to pursue other aspects of education that are not so easily obtained in the classroom. I for one, when school gets off in the spring, am then able to involve myself in several activities which are time consuming and without the break I would be unable to participate in: 4-H, a junior fieldtrip guide, exploration of nature. A summer break would also give the student time to pursue a study of a subject in which he is interested in, but the school he attends does not provide classes for. I personally love insects and the study of these creatures. But I am so busy during the school year that I am only able to pursue my studies in the summer.
Now Pro may point out that there are many students who do not take the opportunities that summer break affords them to educate themselves further, but rather just waist their summer break away. While this may be true, it does not show a failure in the system, but a failure in the students. The system affords students the opportunity to educate themselves further in a way that the educational system cannot provide, and just because students don't take this opportunity does not mean the system is flawed.

Another benefit of the summer break is that it's a break. This break affords other educational opportunities, yes, but it also does afford recreation. Pro asserted that this isn't what we are arguing about, but I believe it is, IF it effects education. This time of rest from most scholastic studies is relaxing, and keeps up the spirits of the students. Now, with a joyful spirit, a student may do well when, in the fall, he comes back to school; but if the student is depressed, often times this inhibits his ability to study well at school, and will result in lower grades. Just talk to someone who went through summer school. It can result in depression and weariness. Thus, summer breaks afford the students time to take some rest, inorder for them to be ready for school in the fall.

The most important argument, though, is that this summer break affords the parents of the student the opportunity to educate the student themselves. When I say educate here, I am specifically referring to the forming of character. Yes, I believe that parents can help or guide their child in scholastic pursuits, but more importantly I believe it is the duty of the parents to build up the character of their child to be virtuous and upright. I believe that the parents are the ones who can best influence the student's character positively. Though the parents ought to be doing this all year round, the summer break gives the parents a special opportunity to fulfill their obligation to educate their child's character through avenues that the school schedule would prohibit.
Please keep in mind that if the parent's fail in fulfilling their obligation does not mean that the system is flawed, but rather that the parent's have failed in their obligation.

If you shorten the break in any way, I believe you will endanger any three of these benefitial factors, and thus harm the education of the students overall.

For these reasons I would disagree with the resolution and ask you to vote Con. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


im gonna have to forfeit, i have no idea what i has thinking when i posted this haha. Late night caffeine induced thinking. the only thing ive got to rebut is that as a kid my summer break was from mid june to mid August, about 2 months. and then ive heard off schools having 3 1/2 month breaks and i was like WHY THE F? Ive got nothing but weak arguments for this so vote con.


I want to thank Pro for posting this debate, as it gave me an opportunity to think through this issue, which I've heard a little about, but hadn't given it that much thought before.

Due to the forfeit, and my previous arguments, voting Con is justified.
Debate Round No. 2


AgnosticPanda forfeited this round.


Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
The main harm to education is the department of education in Washington.Pushing liberalism that destroys real critical thinking.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Imperfiect 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Defro 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded. FF.