I have always been keen on putting forward my opinions on controversial topics and love the idea of getting into a heated argument with someone who shares the same passion or fire. Fortunately, my search was short-lived because a lot of students from my own grade shared a similar interest. This led to the inception of The debate and current affairs club co-lead by 11 students and 4 members as of now, we are always open to new additions. We engage in and explore various forms of debate like hardarve style, impromptu, mace debate, lincoln-douglas debate, etc. We also try our hands at different formats like mock trials and socratic seminars. This club is a fun and educational escape from the stress of school while I develop several useful skills like creative and critical thinking, effective communication, advocacy practice, etc.
LO 1: Identify their own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.
Arguing as a mature person was always fun and all but the art really intrigued me and that’s why I attended a lot of MUNs as well to explore the field more formally. That experience was educational and all but the conferences lasted for a day for 3 max and the format was repetitive so the club provided me with the opportunity to take the reins in my own hands and explore any and all formats I like while having the chance to practice it with my fellow club members. The monthly meetings and organizing a few debates enhanced my communication skills and organization even more than before while also helping me hone my research skills as well to make an entire guide about various types of debates for the club.
LO 2: Demonstrate that they have undertaken challenges, developing new skills in the process.
Learning new forms is also educational yet challenging as well because the differences sometimes are so slim that careful deliberation is required to execute that particular style while others are so diverse that just the preparation makes you break a sweat. For instance, after having a relaxed current affair discussion the month before, we engaged in our first mock trial which was so drastically different from our informal debate so we had to follow the protocols. Also while researching, we have to make sure the sources are reliable and relevant to our context so the source analysis of tens of sources I visit becomes a heavy task.
LO 3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience. & LO 5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
Me along with the other co-leaders showed our idea of the club and it flourished into an amazing platform of debating and discussions among willing and interested individuals. Being 11 co-presidents was never deemed to be an easy task especially all of us being heavily opinionated but that only helped us work on our patients and collaborative skills. Hearing new and varying perspectives on current events from around the world is a refreshing experience, releasing me from the constant demanding work from my school’s course work. We made an entire constitution separately for our club along with creating several other support documents for the club members and potential interests to refer and understand our functioning. I in fact was one of the leaders tasked with creating the different formats of debate documents along with two others.
LO 6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.
The club began early June of 2020 and since then we have conducted over 12 debates and discussion, one mock trial and socratic seminar and did an integration with MYP integrated humanities team to help out the students with an MUN they were conducting on Renewable energy. It served as our service component of the club as we mentored a group of students to guide them through the MUNs as most of them were first timers while also enlightening them about the advancements and updates of the use of renewable energy consumption which happens to be an sustainable development goal (affordable and clean energy). The rapid devourving of fossil fuels is an urgent global issue and informing the upcoming generations about it to ensure their concern and need for change is evident. We made sure to stir a lot of conversation about methods of prevention and alternatives to fossil fuels. In another attempt, we helped the grade 9 IH students understand the Israel-Plaesstine conflict and arrange a formal group debate for them as well. But here we also had to make sure not to dissipate the incorrect knowledge or biased opinions to influence their stances, the responsibility to guide and not impressionable minds is a big task requiring a lot of careful deliberation.
LO 7: Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions.
The appropriate choice of words in presenting the issues and making them understand the events was essential to be paired with the precaution of ethical choices. As much as I disagreed with the actions of a few countries during the Israel Palestine conflict, I made a conscious effort to explain the chain of events with objectivity and only pointed out my opinions when required and asked for while ensuring they know that no opinion is correct or wrong, the justification of your choices is what matters the most.
LO 4: Show commitment and perseverance in their CAS experience.
All this while juggling the school assignments and assessments was a challenge but with the right amount of origination and commitment to the task, all the events went more than smoothly and helped a lot of juniors understand the intensity of a significant global issue and also appreciate and explore the art of debates and discussion. The club also helped me develop on learner profiles like communicator, obviously requiring me to put forth my opinions on a regular basis and Inquirer because getting to know about the various current events and researching the topics we debate upon was always a research intensive task.
- Mock Trial evidences – https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/15db7q4JqrmtYm956bLRn7GhglCcDhzIx
- The guide of types of debates I created : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wd-CvhFcUngPUFXneZRQWcZJKrm_8J7T/view
- Discussion – Evaluation of India’s response to the second wave of COVID-19 – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HB_tGchc2WeIcQJuyeM7lOU3qgExkGKx/view?usp=sharing
- DACAC & Integrated Humanities – UN Motion about Israel and Palestine Debate (organized by me and 2 other members) – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u0OTrHI3IB8typK18RZjUhmD9HwyZOFP-TDBNjQxiww/edit?usp=sharing