In MYP, Integrated Humanities was my favourite subject, however due to subject requirements I could not take similar subjects in DP. There were many other students like me, and over the summer vacations we formed the Debate and Current Affairs Club, or DACAC, to cope with COVID-19 and also embrace our love for politics and debating. DACAC was a fun way for me to develop my oracy skills, critical thinking and confident communication skills. It also helped me to become more informed about political and global affairs.
|Hosting a Debate for English Link to RecordingLink to Proposal
|Organising a Mock TrialLink to RecordingLink to Documents and Other Recordings
|Creating a GuidebookLink to PDF
|Managing Google ClassroomClass Code: mqb2tn2
LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills.
While I do think that I have good oratory skills, debating is so much more than just public speaking. It requires analysis of arguments, strategic thinking, assertive behaviour and confidence. For me, the most challenging thing was to find good sources of information. Today, the news we receive is heavily diluted and manipulated by the media, so I had to develop my research skills. I often checked the source and did an OPVL analysis in order to understand if the site was good enough, whether it would make strong points, etc. This allowed me to improve my reasoning skills as well.
In addition to this, co-presidents were required to organise at least two debates over the course of the year. I organised a mock trial along with two of my peers. It was challenging because I didn’t know anything about mock trials. So, I needed to research a lot, and I even watched videos about this topic. This gave me huge insight into legal trials, organising debates, creating cases, understanding Indian laws, etc, which has made me a better critical and creative thinker.
LO 4: Show commitment and perseverance in their CAS experience.
I have shown commitment to this club because I try my best to attend all the meetings, which are monthly, and I always do my research beforehand. In addition to this, I have also organised several debates, events, and have even collaborated with teachers from other grades to organise their events. For Grade 5, I took a session on conflicts, focusing on the Narmada Bachao Andolan. For Grade 8, I was a mentor for a science MUN on renewable energy. For Grade 9, I helped in organising a debate on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Finally, for Grade 11, I organised a debate for a tuning in session for The Reluctant Fundamentalist. All of this took a lot of effort and commitment since I had to dedicate a lot of time for these events.
LO 5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
In the DACAC, we are about 11 co-presidents. That is a lot of presidents, but we are a council of sorts, and we initiated this experience together. Since there were so many of us, organising debates and events became rather simple because we all collaborated to complete our work. For example, if I could not attend a meeting or needed extra help, there was someone willing to assist me, and I was willing to help out others as well. This improved my communication skills, my collaboration skills and allowed me to understand how to manage and work in a team.
LO 6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.
Our debates cut across topics such as climate change, social media, rape of males , free speech, artificial intelligence, global and local conflicts, and so much more. I had the opportunity to learn about important issues of economic, social, political and philosophical importance, which had a transformative effect on me. Through this, we were also able to make others aware about important issues and enlightened them as well.
I have demonstrated several learner profiles:
- Thinker – I used my critical thinking skills while organising events and debates, while debating and arguing and also for internal problem solving, when debates became just a tad bit too personal.
- Reflective – I assessed and evaluated my strengths and weaknesses regularly after every debate in order to improve my debating skills and ensure that I was a good competitor for the rest of the club members.
- Communicator – I effectively communicated with different audiences, teachers, students and the club members themselves.
- Inquirer – Post debates, I often did a lot of research on points opponent’s brought up because I had loads of questions about things that were discussed. This allowed me to gain a lot of information and perspectives about a topic.