Conflict resolution and seeking consensus may be admirable lessons to teach young people, but there is also something to be said for learning how to research an argument and win it.
A two-day workshop at Cayman International School sponsored by local Rotary Clubs featured well-regarded debate coach Brian Casey, QC who guided young debaters and their coaches in crafting successful talking points, raising good questions and striking the right tone with tournament judges. These are skills, he says, that can help anyone throughout life.
“Debating teaches us to be critical about how we assess claims and to challenge them,” he said, “It also makes us comfortable talking in public so that we can present ourselves for a job interview or know how to deal with people in customer service. It’s a lifetime job skill.”
The students were required to form arguments both for and against topics that affected their everyday lives; for example: the pros and cons of banning social media use for people younger than age 18.