A message from Debating Matters

With schools closed for the majority of students and lockdown underway, we want to offer some support for teachers thinking about what to engage pupils with. There is lots that can be done to generate a spirit of intellectual inquiry, discussion and debate.  

We’ve always referred to teachers as the ‘unsung heroes’ of the competition. Indeed, the resilience of many teachers and the hard work that organising classes remotely will entail means that teachers are ‘unsung heroes’ for society more broadly. We want to support teachers as much as possible. 

Whilst we can’t be together in person, we do have a number of things that people can do to keep debate alive whilst the schools are closed: 

  • Our topic guides are a great place to start to get to grips with some of the pressing questions of our time – questions that will not go away no matter how and when the pandemic is resolved. You can think about whether we should clamp down on ‘fake news’, whether western countries should pay reparations for colonialism, if AI should be welcomed or feared, and manymany more.

  • On top of this we will be publishing some guides over the next few days about how you can encourage students to do a Debating Matters debate remotely. We hope this will be useful resource and something you can plan for students to do without too much extra work on your part.

  • If you end up with some time to start planning for the future, you can also use the resources on the website to start to think about how to set a debate club up when you return

We’ll also stay active on social media, suggesting readings, topics, lectures and podcasts that will keep you busy, thinking, and critical. 

If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to share any ideas, please do get in touch with us. You should email Bernie Whelan, bernie@theboi.co.uk or call on 020 7269 9230. 

Over this period, the priority is following the government advice and staying safe. But hopefully alongside this we can all keep the spirit of debate alive, and sharpen our minds and arguments for when things go back to normal. 

Warmest wishes,

The Debating Matters team.