Why Debates

Debates have been one of the oldest forms of showcasing one’s ideas, personality, and confidence. We have all had the experience of a debate at least once, either by participating in one or by observing one. From school to the electoral level, debates have been a deciding factor behind many major decisions. Even in our day-to-day life, we have engaged in many debates, knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, it is important to learn the tips and tricks of debates at an early stage. Teaching kids the art of debating will only give them an edge once they grow up.  Not just this, it is also one of the most effective ways of developing public speaking skills in your children.

There are various styles of debate. In this article, I will be talking about the lesser-known style – The SPAR Debate.

What is the SPAR debate?

SPAR Debate stands for SPontaneous ARgumentation Debate. In such types of debate, all the participants are allotted one minute to frame their argument. They then have to react quickly to their opponents’ ideas. Since this style calls for the participants to gather their thoughts in a very short period of time, it works better if they already have prior knowledge on the topic. An increase in practice and participation in these kinds of debates will encourage children to read up more on the current events and to build up their knowledge base.

How does it work

SPAR Debates are easy to organize as it does not require any prior preparations. The procedure is quite simple.

  1. Pick a topic that does not require a lot of time for preparation.
  2. Divide participants into two groups – pro (affirmative) and con (negative).
  3. Provide a few minutes for each student to prepare

The benefit of SPAR debate for kids

One of the most essential benefits of SPAR Debates is that it introduces children to various kinds of public and oral communication skills. It allows children to become more and more comfortable with speaking in front of others as well as how to argue in an academic setting. It generally operates on the “pro-con” format, thereby exposing children to be able to understand both sides of any information or facts. The dynamic nature of these debates also helps hold the attention of the audience. 

To conclude

Debates, in general, can help children develop many important skills needed for personality development, including but not limited to, communication skills. SPAR debates can be a good practice to prepare your children to work under pressure, to polish their public speaking skills. It also teaches them how to argue with an opponent in a respectful manner and how to put forward one’s thoughts. 

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