Debating and Public Speaking
Stella Maris College enters two debating competitions during the school year, the Independent Schools’ Debating Association competition and the Schools Debating Network competition.
Why are debating and public speaking an important part of the College landscape? They teach our girls to:
- Examine values and beliefs – their own and others’
- Structure logical arguments
- ‘Think on their feet’
- Listening effectively
- Think critically
- Do their research
- Present their ideas clearly for their audience
- Identify bias and opinion in the arguments of others and what it means to have an informed opinion
- Comprehend the problematic nature of ‘facts’ and ‘truth’
- Cultivate an interest in current affairs
- Improve their fluency
- Work as part of a team in a spirit of collaboration
- Engage in healthy and respectful competition
- Be respectful of differences of opinions
What message does it send to our girls? Debating and public speaking teach our girls that they have a voice, that their opinions matter and that it is their duty to be concerned with and speak out on important issues. The competitive motivation to do well while debating encourages the girls to think more clearly, research thoroughly and prepare their remarks carefully.
The girls very much enjoy building friendships and networking with their peers from other schools.
We learn more from our parents than from our teachers.
Single sex schools should be abolished.
We should introduce performance-based pay scales for teachers.
Mothers should be paid for raising their children.
Feminism has achieved its aims.
Barbie should be banned.
We need more women in federal parliament.
Young women need better role models.
Cheerleaders should be banned from the NRL.
Performance-enhancing drugs should be legalised.
Today’s sporting personalities are paid too much.
Public speaking involves delivering prepared and impromptu speeches to an audience of peers and judges. Along with many of the benefits of Debating, it teaches the girls to plan, sustain and develop an argument or idea; extends their vocabulary; and improves self-confidence and articulation. Our girls enter competitions throughout the school year with great success.
If you are interested in becoming a Debating or Public Speaking coach or adjudicator for the College please email the Debating Coordinator. Your participation is warmly welcomed and much appreciated!