Debate Topics in the Classroom
Debates must train students to articulate, justify and prove their own position on the one hand and to develop tolerance and respect for the alternative position on the other. The debate topic must be relevant to the age, background and experience of the participants and must stimulate everyone to participate.
1 The Authority of Adults
Relations with parents is one of the most exciting topics. Almost everybody has such an experience. In different cultures, mutual responsibilities of parents and children are depicted differently. As Erik Fromm pointed out, modern society has become strongly concentrated on children, because children are a sort of luxury in the modern society, and the adults focus on their children with greater enthusiasm than in previous historical epochs. It leads to the lack of respect toward parents from the children's side. Adults are losing their authority. Do adults deserve respect? This debate topic is very productive, because sooner or later the majority of students will become parents themselves and will face this problem.
2 Leadership and Charisma
To understand what charisma means is very important in many respects. Future careers of the students will include the aspect of leadership. Is leadership possible without charisma? Which consequences will the lack of charisma will lead to? How will the lack of charisma in a leader's personality influence the functioning of a working team? Is it possible to learn how to become a leader? Is leadership innate? What are the characteristics of an ideal leader and boss? All of these topics can be of interest for the debate in the classroom.
3 Love and Responsibility
Young people start their adult life making romantic relations with their peers and sometimes with elder people. What is the most significant aspect of love: passion or responsibility? Do men and women understand love differently or in the same way? This debate topic is not appropriate for children, but is fine for teens.
4 Path to Success
U.S. society is preoccupied with the idea of success. Success means different things for different social groups and ages. To have a success at the age of 12 means to have friends, to be successful at the age of 18 is to get a driver's license, to be successful at the age of 35 means to have your own house or business. But what is the way to success? Do luck, money or education play the most significant role in reaching success? This topic is relevant for debate in the classroom for diverse audiences and participants.