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Why Do ICSE Schools Promote Debates In Their Curriculum

Picture this:

Immediately after the lunch, proceedings began in the Parliament. The newly appointed education minister stood up, all the faces looking up at him, and all the words in his head came out of his mouth. The minister started by "Schools near me ..." and the people in his constituency immediately knew that they had elected a genuine person to power.

The minister went on to win the debate, and a resolution was also passed allocating a certain amount for the development purposes of ICSE schools in his constituency.

Exceptional debating skills can teach some valuable and analytical speaking abilities in a student if developed from the school level. The child can develop intellectually and ethically. The money wouldn't have been allocated for the schools had the minister been unable to properly raise the issues!

So, the question now is:

How do debates help students in their overall development?

Do you know?

The second most popular news of France apart from the Notre Dam fire have been the violent “Yellow Vests” demonstrations. Do you know how the French government is responding to these demonstrations? The French Government has come up with the decision to launch the “Great National Debate,” which is solely intended to create a deliberative environment.

When a developed nation like France, rules to bring a reform in its country which will include a lot of debating, it becomes easy to understand the importance of elocution and debates.

Debates help a child fit for the outside world. Generation Z children are widely engrossed in technology, and real interaction is abating. In such an environment, encouraging students in a school to participate in active debates becomes essential.

What are the benefits that debates can bring to a student?

When done right, debates can help children learn skills like:

  • They will get to learn something new every time.
  • They will meet new people and develop a broad understanding of the world.
  • Students will learn not to take things personally while debating.
  • Students will learn to consider and look at things from the counterpart's perspective.
  • They will develop a feeling of self-confidence.

Let’s understand in detail:

  1. Can debates be a fun and learning experience?

    Remember the first time you participated in a debate?

    You were excited as you had attended various debate competitions before but never tried it yourself.

    You were nervous and broke out in a cold sweat before the start of the debate. However, you knew that you had to feel comfortable and were ready to go on the spot, talking about the topic.

    Once you started learning the skills and techniques and applied them in practice, you eventually realised the value of what you were learning, and it became fun.

    The same can be the case with children. It can be daunting at first, but the feeling of learning something new every time will become the driving factor soon.

  2. What benefits can meeting new people bring to a student?

    Meeting new people is the best part of engaging in active debates. When interschool debate competitions are organised, students from various schools get a chance to meet many brilliant and talented people who are super ambitious and remarkably smart.

    Everyone wants to be the best and students learn new things from the people they meet and inculcate them in their own lives.

    Debates are a chance to meet people from different cultures and learn about their views and opinions on different topics and situations.

    There will be moments when they meet people who don't agree with them, and that is the place where students will learn traits like being open-minded, thinking about the other person's perspectives and point of views.

    Students can pull a lot from the people around them in a debate.

  3. How do debates teach students not to take things personally?

    This is one of the most important things to excel in professional life. Every school wants its students to shine in their careers which becomes hard when they start taking everything personally.

    You, being an adult must be aware of this and will also want Generation X to know this.

    Students may get indulged in a heated argument during the debate. However, they will realise that taking things personally won't be helpful and hopefully will have fun and joke later.

    This is a part of learning and students will become more tolerant and acceptable to people who have different views and opinions.

    ICSE schools near you are doing a great task by organising frequent debate competitions.

    India needs the Generation X to be more tolerant and take the society forward!

  4. How debates improve a student’s perspectives?

    Debates put the participants and the audience both in a situation where they have to look at the other side of the coin.

    Students learn to walk in their counterpart's shoes while finding reasons to support their own views.

    A good school always addresses students who are headstrong with extra care.

    An easy way to achieve this goal is to indulge the students into activities like a debate, where students are required to empathise with the other side as well.

    Traits, like empathising, remaining open-minded and learning to respect other people’s opinions and thoughts, can take students a long way in the journey of improving thinking abilities and build themselves into responsible adults.

  5. How do debates build self-esteem and self-confidence?

    There can be debates where students find it hard to counter the other person. Such intimidating times can teach a student to have patience, remain calm and come up with an eye opener for the other team.

    Doing this in front of an audience can help the students in building confidence and courage.

    If the education minister mentioned at the beginning wouldn't have been confident while addressing the issues, he'd have failed in getting the funds allocated.

    Children develop a sense of self-esteem when they beat other participants in front of a large audience, and the audience agrees to them too. They will feel that their voices and thoughts are being heard, and matter to the world, or at least to the audience present there.

    We are moving into an age where the prize will be given to the creative, cooperative and one who has the communication skills to debate and speech.

    Schools must take this into consideration and create an environment where students can feel comfortable to share their thoughts freely and without getting judged.

What steps can schools take to promote debates?

Debates can be highly specialised as well as informal ones. The teachers need to ensure that the debates being held emphasise on proper research and prepared arguments while improving a student's impromptu speaking and analytical skills.

  • Give them something new every day to discuss

  • Do you feel that the recent image of a black hole can help us in research or discovering extraterrestrial life?

  • The start of the next lesson on science with this question or something of this sort is interesting. The students will brainstorm on and also speak up what they feel on current issues.

  • Create a mini-parliament in the class

  • Teachers can pre-inform the students about the topic they will be discussing on the next day.

  • There are different genres for you to choose from. Sports, history, or politics - you can ask students to research and allow them a brainstorming session of five to 10 minutes long at the start of the lesson.

  • Teachers can make it more relevant by dividing the class into two groups and sitting them opposite to each other. To find some interesting topics for a classroom debate you can refer to 5 Debate Topics To Bring Out The Orators In Primary Students.

  • Create a private online forum and encourage students to remain active

  • This can be another effective way to hold a class debate virtually.

  • Train the students on how to use a forum and explain to them its purpose. Here, students can build a conversation on each others' comments and express themselves.

  • Build a set of rules that focus on decreasing controversial talk and promote talks that can create an environment where ideas are developed, and new ideas emerge.

  • One more advantage of this forum can be that students who find it difficult to express themselves in the class can also open up. A good start for them, right?

Students who can perform well in a debate know to put forth their point in a responsible manner which is an outstanding trait in the modern world. ICSE schools all across India focus on building individuals who can approximate the rightness of an issue while maintaining a healthy environment in the debate.

The debate will help them grow!

Nalanda International School, an ICSE School in Vadodara, encourages a blended learning approach and aim to create an atmosphere that promotes debates. Contact us today to know more about us!

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