Student debates: there’s no argument for them

As a newly minted teacher, Mark Roberts thought hosting debates would inspire his pupils with the art of logic – in fact, these lessons quickly descended to the level of Prime Minister’s Questions

Why I dropped debates

It’s a red hot topic. A proverbial hot potato. You’ve reached the point in your scheme of work where the moral boundaries become blurred. It’s going to be controversial; feelings will probably run high.

What should be done about global warming? Did the Nazi Party rescue the German economy in the 1930s? Should athletes who have doped be given automatic lifetime bans? Is capital punishment ever acceptable? Who is most responsible for the death of Eva Smith in An Inspector Calls?

With such interesting subject matter, now is the time to channel your inner Mrs Merton: “Right, class: let’s have a ...

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