As schools shift focuses on learning and remove certain classes or activities, one class or team that should never disappear is a debate class. Although most children do not see the value in these classes and usually do not enjoy them, a debate class is a great way for students to learn some valuable life and social skills. 

The Power of Debate

It can be hard to articulate your meaning or getting your point across, but having classes that support and encourage thinking can help! There are many benefits to a debate class, and communication is one of the top benefits. You not only work your critical thinking skills, you also must then formulate your thoughts and ideas (as well as the thoughts and ideas of your kid’s classmates) into a well-formed, cohesive speech centered around whether something is good or bad (in essence). 

Learning and honing a child’s critical thinking and communication skills is vital for them now and in the future, when they will be forever discussing and formulating their words in the workplace, at home, and with friends and family. Without a debate class, your child may not fully utilize these skills in other classes, or realize the easiest or best way to get their point across in a streamlined manner, resulting in some setbacks throughout school. 

Real World Knowledge

If there are opportunities for a debate team, class, or group for your child, try to start them as young as possible. Your kids may groan at the extracurricular activity, but it can also be a great way for them to learn about the world around them and current topics. Many children can easily get swept up into social media and video games, which can have positive attributes on their own, but should not be the only outlet they have for the real world. 

A debate team or class can give them real world knowledge and topics to discuss and for them to figure out what feels right and wrong to them. It is a great way for them to figure out how the world works, in essence, and to help them become more thoughtful and reactive to the world around them and how their actions can impact that. And if your child ends up enjoying it, debate also opens up to more community engagement as well! Your kids may not realize how important debate classes can be, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get them involved in at least one semester to give them the opportunity!

Katie Kyzivat