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Debating Club creates passionate advocates

November 22nd, 2019

Two special debating events have been held at Monmouth School for Girls this term, inspiring “fantastic” discussions and “passionate advocates” of ideas.

The two events – an after-school debating workshop and a lunchtime Skype seminar – were held in addition to the weekly Socrates Debate Club meetings.

Explaining the events, Mr Whately, Head of Ethics and Philosophy at Monmouth School for Girls, said: “In the debating workshop we had two teams with a mix of Year 12 and Year 8 students.  They were given the motion “this house believes that tigers are better than humans.”

Students had to analyse two documents:  a press release from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and a report from the World Wildlife Fund on the government of India’s work on tiger conservation.  The result was a formal debate with proposition and opposition, speakers and summarisers.

Mr Whately added: “The contributions were well-informed and nuanced, with fantastic discussion around ideas of human agency and the role of individual species within wider ecosystems – with an excellent philosophical perspective on David Hume and causation from Nick. “

The Skype seminar was with Marrium Khan, who works for Outreach at Lady Margaret Hall College at the University of Oxford. Mr Whately explained: “It was fantastic for the girls to hear such an eloquent advocate of university education talking about the value of what they do in debating; it really gave them a bigger perspective on their lunch time club!

“I hope it will inspire them to keep debating, discussing and arguing as outspoken and passionate advocates of the ideas they care about.”

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