Debate knowledge crucial to all students

Kate Glover

Are there more wheels or doors in the world? Is math red or blue? Pepperoni or cheese? These questions, while lighthearted, are all examples of debate. In both school and the real world, the ability to debate is an incredibly applicable and valuable skill. Truly understanding and discussing an issue requires critical thinking, research, and meaningful expression of a stance. Throughout the course of a person’s life, they’ll engage in thousands of debates. It is crucial students enter the world with the skills to handle these conversations. 

For students, debate is most immediately helpful in the classroom. It teaches you ways to research, comprehend, and present information, even if the subject is complex.

Debate teacher and assistant coach Kirsten Guest values the subject, as she was also a competitor for her high school’s speech team. This experience gave her valuable insights and skills applicable to students in the classroom. 

“Debating makes you better in all of your classes,” Guest said. “It helps you with your writing. It makes you better at note taking.”  

Notes are so important because they’re a student’s main resource for studying and looking back on material. With grades increasing in importance during high school, students need to have the best resources possible. Debate teaches quick, organized note taking, so all the important information of lessons can be recorded. 

Writing is also one of the cornerstones of school because it’s used in every class. No matter what path a student follows, or what classes they take, they will have to communicate written information. 

Debate improves the quality of students’ written notes and communication. With these skills, students may achieve higher grades, and find more opportunities in the future. 

Outside of school, the knowledge of debate is still important. Our world has many big discussions going on, centering around politics, the environment, and society as a whole. As students graduate and enter into that world, they will become active participants in solving global problems. Preparing to find solutions starts with giving students the skills to not only think of an idea, but also plan and implement it. 

“Debate is helping you learn about topics in the world and forming an opinion on them,” Guest said.

With the current state of discourse, having the next generation educated in debate could greatly benefit society. Debate gives people a structured and organized way to argue for change. Having all students take debate will make them ready to create positive change as adults. 

Debate centers around real-world problems in every area, such as funding transportation, or government policies that affect our lives. It makes us more knowledgeable about society. This knowledge helps us know what needs fixing, who wants it fixed, and why we should fix it. 

Studying debate will benefit students throughout school and their adult lives because the subject involves so many real-world skills, like research, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. It can also improve knowledge of current events, and prepare students to solve societal problems as adults. It’s in everyone’s best interest that we study debate in high school.