High school students are taught many, many valuable things. Things that will help them in their later life. Of course the regular curriculum offers them a wide range of general knowledge and the application of that useful ground, on which they can build their further intelligence.
But very important, perhaps even more important than knowledgeable facts and figures, is the application of things that might not be taught on a daily basis at high schools. It’s also something that an average student won’t be using on a daily basis. There’s no precise way to judge or criticize students on their achievements. But a matter without testing is certainly not a useless matter. Au contraire, people are not yet fully aware of the prodigious use it has for one’s future.
Whatever direction students end up planning their career in, speech and debate is an aspect recurring in nearly every line of job. It’s a skill every ambitious future-worker should master, because it allows them to be in charge of their own progress in succession. It can help them stimulate rise through discussion and could play a significant role in the foundation of building a successful career.
Speech and debate, in my opinion, is highly underestimated. Being able to speak well in public and debate about one’s opinion persuasively is a skill valued highly in later life. Especially bringing on arguments to show your views and most importantly, thrusting that view on other people.
But not just the actual skill of debate holds significance, there are many more aspects to speech and debate programs that teach valuable lessons to high school students. It’s a practical approach to learning ethics and rhetorical rules. A great part of holding discussion and debates is respecting someone else’s opinion, judging objectively and behaving appropriately, all while capably and skillfully bringing up points of attention. Coming off as compelling and ultimately convincing.
When workers start in their jobs and are confronted with situations that require a certain rhetorical skill, they need to have had the possibility to be taught beforehand, and be adequately prepared for the working-life. It seems there is no other place to be taught this than in high school. It’s the perfect moment to build that skill and understanding, rather than in college where they are already confronted with the need of that ability. That’s why speech and debate programs don’t just belong in schools, they should be required in schools.
How exactly will students profit? Being a frequent debater, I can personally admit to the way I have profited from participating in speech and debate programs. Participants handle situations better with the experience on forming an opinion and making it come across, debating outcomes and finding solutions to problems; whether in daily life or in far away countries and cultures. It strengthens their understanding of world issues and positively influences their way of speaking and specifically public speaking. It decreases their fears and nerves about talking to large groups of people and increases the confidence in themselves. Also, they will be forced to intensively look into issues they would usually overlook and be confronted with different cultures. They will know how to formulate proper sentences in the debating language, they will learn to cooperate and make unusual alliances. There is a great social aspect to it as well, coming from the way debaters have to work together with those who share their opinions.
It opens a lot of doors to those who are particularly interested in speech and debating and draws interest to those who never really thought about it. It teaches lessons that are not only used in everyone’s everyday life, but lessons that are crucial to the development of a high school student and to the success and achievement of people in the rest of their lives.