Did you know that in the U.S., which boasts the 2nd best education system in the world, urban high-school debaters have a higher graduation rate (90%) compared to urban high-schoolers (50%) who are not part of the debate club? With a difference of 40%, that’s very impressive.
While the exact figure of the same statistic is unknown in Australia, the bottom line is clear: joining a school debate team can indeed be very beneficial for young students.
So… the answer to your question is yes, you should definitely join your school’s debate club, especially if you’re in primary or secondary school.
I’m aware, however, that dropping a random fact about debate clubs won’t be enough to convince a young mind like yours to join. After all, it is a serious commitment that will require you to dedicate a good amount of time for it.
In an effort to convince you further, let me share with you several reasons why you must join the debate team.
1.The Skills You Learn Will Help You a Lot in the Future
You may not realise this right now because you’re still young, but all of the skills you’ll gain from debating are invaluable and will come in handy at college and at the workplace. Specifically speaking, you will gain skills in communication, research, critical thinking, and even writing – all of which will be instrumental to your success in life.
Since your general communication skills will be refined, it also means that you’ll become a better, confident public speaker who’ll never shy away from engaging in discussions or sharing your ideas clearly to an audience. Guess what? Corporate bosses love that last part.
And if for some reason you need to work on your public speaking (perhaps you have glossophobia, the fear of public speaking), you can always enrol in public speaking classes to help you get ready for the debate team.
2. You Learn How to Advocate About Issues You Care About
Being able to advocate about issues that matter to you in a clear and concise manner is an underrated skill that will give you the upper hand in personal, academic and professional situations. For example, it will give you the edge whenever you engage in arguments with your friends, classmates or colleagues – all because you can talk about anything, pick solid points to discuss regarding the issue, and explain your opinions in a straightforward manner.
It’s like having a superpower that allows you to convince anyone to consider your thoughts regarding certain matters, even if they are completely against it at first.
3. You Become an Engaged Citizen
The foundation of democracy are engaged citizens who discuss and educate themselves in political matters, and people who join debates become just that. With all of the research and analysis required to be able to deliver well-constructed opinions about a wide range of topics, students who regularly participate in debates gain a better understanding of the world. They become more knowledgeable about relevant issues in public policy, politics, and other matters. And along with the enhanced perspective comes a better appreciation for the different sides that make up an argument or public opinion.
Basically, the entire process involved in debates – from preparation to actual debates – can help students grow up to be critical thinkers who can effectively communicate their ideas and are more aware of the issues that plague our world.
4. The Overall Experience is Enjoyable and Rewarding
Off the top of my head, I can think of some examples where students get to have a fun and rewarding experience from a school affair, and of those examples, participating in debates has to be right there at the very top.
Between all of the researching, preparing, traveling, and debating rival schools or teams, being part of the debate team is really just loaded with tons of awesome opportunities that can help with your personal and intellectual growth, not to mention all of the noteworthy experiences that will turn into unforgettable memories. The overall experience is just fun and rewarding, and it’s the kind that will be the highlight of your academic career.