Rajiv Kacholia, is a former U.S. State Debate Champion, an alumnus of Stanford University and Goldman Sachs, and Founder of Speech and Debate India.
Debate has traditionally been viewed as an extra-curricular, after-school activity – but there is a larger opportunity to not just teach debate, but to utilize debate to learn. Debate can be applied as a pedagogical strategy to teach ideas and content in a much deeper and more engaging way that is fun and naturally self-motivating for children. When students are engaged, they learn at a higher level, become better at expressing their thoughts, and building critical life skills, which are the widest academic gaps.
The Learning Gap
The Indian Education system has focused far too long on academic test taking, rote learning, and factual understanding. An Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) survey found 93% of Employers wanted a stronger focus on written and verbal communication skills, critical thinking, and demonstrated problem solving ability. Speech & Debate is formulated to master these skills in a fun and engaging for students.
Deep Content Exploration
Researchers in the United States have found that U.S. Debate, a highly rigorous format, is proven to advance deeper understanding of subjects. Debate is exhilarating and highly empowering. When students compete, collaborate, and engage in a fun learning approach, they are more likely to be self-motivated and read more. Moreover, debaters advance their understanding of the topic area being debated to a much more sophisticated level, often several years above their grade level. Students also benefit from exploring diverse perspectives through critical examination that debate naturally involves.
Debaters collaborate on teams, think creatively about real-world questions, and learn to effectively present their points backed by extensive research, understanding, and logic. It’s an incredible experience for students to engage in and develop an understanding of how to become an effective team collaborator and leader. Learning should be fun – debate as a pedagogical method helps to deepen subject area learning.
Collaboration & Leadership Skills
Collaboration, leadership, and persuasion start to develop long before the debate round as students prepare with teammates by dividing tasks, researching, and negotiating how they will consolidate their findings as a unified team.
Critical Thinking, Confidence, & Communication Skills
U.S. Debate develops deep thinking and self-awareness as students learn to recognize and methodically articulate their viewpoints, using evidence and logic, rather than simply expressing personal opinions.
Channel Creativity Skills
Students are encouraged to think expansively, and U.S. Debate serves as a unique outlet to retain and channel the natural creativity that kids tend to lose otherwise over time.
Developing Gifted Students
Speech and Debate India offers advanced students in Grades 1-12 a modern U.S Debate pedagogy that has been augmented to provide a challenging and thrilling experience for kids. Content learning dives deep while blending historical, current and future trends and perspectives. Subject areas include science, humanities, economics, business, media and communications, history, current events, and more. Each course is curated for student-centered discussions, interactive games, and intellectual drills to reinforce concepts and drive deep analysis. Courses are taught live online exclusively by U.S. instructors based in Mumbai. Students learn to debate, while debating to learn!