Debating in Schools

Topics: Debate, Debating, National Parliamentary Debate Association Pages: 2 (797 words) Published: September 2, 2009
Debating can be a daunting prospect for people who have never participated in a debate before. It should not be!

In this section, the key terms of debating are introduced. As with anything, jargon can be off-putting but debating terms are simple and easy to understand. The key terms are listed below. There are also other terms that you may come across from time to time in debating but are not essential when introducing debate to a class.

Term Definition
House The room in which a debate takes place is referred to as the House, and whilst a speaker is speaking they ‘have the floor’. The House is also the term used to describe the people in the room at the time of the debate, ie the other debaters, audience members, judges and timekeepers. Motion The motion is the topic or subject that is being debated. Motions traditionally begin with the phrase ‘This House would…’ or ‘This House believes’. Motions should be of interest to the audience and for the speakers. They can be directly related to something being discussed in class or, if at an after-school club, can be about a current affairs issue, a school issue or any other interesting and challenging topic. An example of a motion is ‘This house would ban school uniform’. (See Useful motions). Proposition The proposition is the name for the team or teams proposing a motion. This means that they are in favour of the motion. So in the example given above, the proposition team or teams would be arguing in favour of banning school uniform. Their role in the debate would be to persuade the audience and judges that the motion is correct. They should provide information, arguments and evidence to support their case. Opposition The opposition is the name for the team or teams opposing the motion. Their task is to provide arguments against the motion to counter the proposition’s case. In the example above, the opposition team would be in favour of keeping school uniform. Points of Information A Point of Information...
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