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Nimble Minds / The Socratic Club Debating Workshop - 12th March

The Socratic Club greatly enjoyed working with Nimble Minds for a special debating workshop. We were hugely impressed with the argumentation shown by the group.

We worked on some key debating and public skills including body language, active listening and how to politely disagree. We began with a warm-up question - 'what is your favourite subject or activity at school?' - with particular focus on explanation and justification. This saw a tremendous range of responses from English creative writing, to Mathematics and Football. We then turned to our two debates:

(i) Our first topic looked at animal welfare and Zoos, on the motion 'This House would ban Zoos'. The group rejected the motion at the first vote, but this had narrowed by the second telling. 

Arguments in favour of the ban focussed on animal welfare, and changing the behaviour/pattern of a wild animal. Those opposed spoke of their learning experiences and the opportunities for wider research and science. 

(ii) Our second motion covered the question as to 'whether this House felt that robots could replace teachers'. Here, the group argued in favour of the motion in the first vote, but by the second telling had rejected the motion - with emotional intelligence and adjusting to class learning weighing heavily. Those in favour of the motion pointed to cost benefits/fewer sick days/and a constant level of efficiency. 

Well done all on a super session with excellent contributions across the floor.

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