When you talk to students about a debate many will cringe at the thought, ‘boo’ you for mentioning it, or they may not know what it is. All in all, debating is not a favoured subject of learning among students. It is another lost Art of Learning.
Although it has almost disappeared, I believe that debating is one of the most effective method of learning and it is very important in early childhood training. Many scholars, professionals, and politicians use it to make their point across to the audience. It is a key component of learning that modern education has all but forgotten.
Why is debating such an important method of learning?
First it teaches the students dig deep into the subject. Some may call it vertical learning, where one researches thoroughly to find evidences for his/her argument. As a debater or debating team researches and analysis their arguments, they are becoming enriched in the knowledge of the subject.
With so much information at our finger tips, we are accustomed to instant answer. However, this convenience is hindering us from make an effort to study more about the answers to our questions. This has led to horizontal and shallow mentality in our minds.
Secondly, as they prepare for the argument, they are self-learning. This is very important method of learning as students reach higher level of education.
In many colleges and universities, where students are competing with hundreds, if not thousands of student and where lecturers do not have time to answer student’s question, knowing how to self-learn is necessary tool to survive.
Thirdly, debating builds a character of persistence in the students. When I speak with young people, many give up easily on their attempts when they do not succeed. They will justify themselves by saying ‘I’ll just do something else’ or ‘That was not that important, anyways’.
To succeed in life, persistence is crucial in one’s life. As with many other things, persistence has to be learned and practised.
The origin of planting debating starts from home. In a dinner setting, where family gathers together for a meal, parent may ask their children what do think about _____? That space can be filled up with things that are of interest to the children to something they should get to know. This simple question can develop into tradition of interesting discussion that can teach our children art of debating.
Some may says that debating is endless, because each side will continue to counter argue the arguments made by their opponents. But that is a good thing in that it allows students to develop more in dept knowledge, they are self teaching themselves, and building persistent character.
Thank you for reading this article, if you have any comments, please leave them below.