The “European College” debate club yclept “Battle” was created in March 2015. It united students in grades 8-11 around the Worldwide School Debate format. Already in April 2015, the club’s participants took part in the “Open Debate Tournament for senior pupils in Kyiv” called “Athens Forum 2015”. In December 2015 in the framework of the All-Ukrainian Week of Law, our club held a debate tournament entitled “Human Rights – the foundation of a democratic society” in which the 11th class team won. In April 2016, the team “Debate beavers” (Dokuka Olga, Ponomareva Lisa, Pischai Denis) won the II Open Debate Tournament “Athenian Forum-2016 ( Ukrainian Track), while the team “Spring tide” (Kucher Oleksandra, Kiselov Yaroslav, Василів Ольга) took honorable second place (English Track). Yaroslav Kiseliov was recognized the best debater of the English track.
All the positive effects of the Debate Club can be submitted to several groups:
Developing critical thinking – Debates develop the ability to analyze, identify strong and weak sides of different theses, work out best decisions, considering available resources, estimate facts and integrate them into tendencies, assess the consequences and results of actions in terms of their effectiveness.
The development of structural thinking – Debates foster the ability to organize the process of thinking, to structurally put forward students’ thoughts, frame logical systems and constructions and reveal contradictions in them.
Development of Rhetoric Skills – Debates promote the acquisition of fluent and persuasive speaking, provide speechwriting skills , and develop the ability to hold oneself in front of an audience.
Accumulation of new knowledge – Debates enable their participants to accumulate and systematize new knowledge in history, law, culture, religion, philosophy, political science and other spheres of public life. Besides, they help to acquire of information search technologies and encourage the development of a systemic and skale vision of the problem.
Development of the ability to work with people – Debates raise the ability to work in a team (team, club), be tolerant of opposing opinions, listen to and accept counterarguments, respect for people.
All these skills are useful for lawyers, politicians, managers, journalists and lots of other humanitarian professions.
Here are some most widespread and popular debate formats today:
- The Lincoln-Douglas Debate – The face-to-face debates, the Political Debate (American Political Debates) – two player teams on each side participate,
- Carl Popper’s debates (classical – value themes) – three vs three, Political Format of Karl Popper Debates – three vs three.
- Australian debates – three vs three
- The American Parliamentary Debates format is two vs two.
- British Parliamentary Debates or Worlds – the official format of the World Championships) – four teams compete two contestants each
- Ted Turner Debates (Ted Turner Debates or Controversy Debates) – two vs two;
- Worldwide format for school debates – three vs three etc.