Have we really forgotten how to debate?


Recently it seems that too many disagreements turn into aggressive clashes rather than constructive debates. Which poses the question, ‘Have we forgotten how to debate?’

Disagree – contrary to what some people say, we haven’t forgotten how to debate.

It could be argued that a high proportion of the population can’t have forgotten how to debate if they were never taught how to debate in the first place, by their own families or when they were at school.

Fortunately, the topic of debating is now woven into the curriculum, but I do wonder whether this is enough to ensure the next generation is safe from having these unpleasant and discomforting aggressive clashes with their friends, family, neighbours and strangers.

earlier this week it was reported that train guards would be wearing body-cams to try to reduce the number of violent attacks by passengers. When did we move from debating to immediate confrontation?

Whilst we can’t single-handedly change the curriculum to include a Debating Programmes of Study, we have produced a resource, entitled Teaching Values through PSHE and Citizenship, containing a wealth of activities and worksheets for discussions and debates.

Section One focuses on what attitudes and values the children believe should determine behaviour towards others, on the qualities they admire in other people, on what they consider to be good manners and on what they consider when making decisions.

Section Two focuses on the rules that govern peopleʼs lives and the responsibilities they have as family members, as neighbours, at school and as citizens. It includes activities that encourage children to discuss what sort of country they want to live in.

Section Three looks at human rights, exploring issues of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, sexism and racism. There are also activities on respecting other peopleʼs religions and cultures and on global concerns.

Visit our website for more information and sample material on Teaching Values through PSHE and Citizenship or to order this resource for £19.99 as a printed book, £13.99 as an e-book, or both for a discounted price of £24.19.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Citizenship, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, PSHE, Secondary school

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