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Forster Public School

Forster Public School

Learning Today for Tomorrow

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"It is better to debate a question without settling it, than to settle a question without debating it."

Joseph Joubert, French philosopher

Competitive debating is an organised structure in which two teams examine ideas and policies with the aim of persuading people. It allows us to consider the world around us by thinking about different arguments, engaging with opposing views and speaking strategically.

Debating creates the ability for reasoned argument and tolerance for different points of view. It builds confidence and self-esteem in students and is an essential tool for students aspiring towards roles of leadership in their educational future.

A debate has two teams, an Affirmative and a Negative, consisting of three speakers each. The First Affirmative speaker begins the debate, and speaks for a set time. The other speakers each have to rebut or argue against points raised by the opposing team before presenting their own arguments.

Judges decide how persuasive debaters have been through three key criteria:

Matter: What we say and the arguments and examples we use.

Manner: How we say it and the language and voice we use.

Method: How well we engage with the topic, respond to other people's arguments and structure what we say.