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Defining a primary school debating topic – 06. With Indigo Crossweller

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INDIGO CROSWELLER: Hi, guys. My name's Indigo. And I am an awesome primary school debater. I did the Premier's Reading Challenge all through primary school and loved it. And you might have seen me on a couple of the trips around New South Wales.

So hi, if I've met you before. It's lovely to be with you guys again chatting about debating. So, today I'm going to step through a definition with you. And the topic that we're going to do is that schools should reward kids whose grades improve with vouchers for McDonald's and KFC.

So, let's chat through the details for that now. So, remember when we're doing a definition, there are three questions that we need to answer. The first question is, where will this change happen? The second question is, what are the details? And the third question is, when will the change happen?

So, for the first question, where will the change happen, this change will happen in all Australian schools. Remember that you want it to be the biggest group within Australia. So, it's not just going to be high schools. It's not just going to be primary schools. We're not going to limit it to only private schools or only public schools. We want every kid to be inspired to do better at school. So, we're to say every school in Australia.

What are the details that we need? So, the first thing we need to look at is, well, how much are these vouchers going to be? Because the negative team might say, we can't do this, because it's going to cost so much money. But the affirmative team, we're going to say, well, we're not going to make it so much money that the school doesn't have any money left to pay their teachers. But we're not going to make it $1 per kid, because we want them to be able to go and buy something that they'll enjoy so that they keep wanting to try hard and keep getting those vouchers.

So, we might suggest a $10 voucher so that kids could go and get something like a happy meal, or go and get a burger and fries and a drink from KFC. We don't want to make it $1, because a kid isn't going to try really, really hard just to get a soft serve once in a while. We want it to be enough money.

So, then you might say, well, how many kids are we going to give it to, because what if every kid in the class improves their grades? Well the affirmative team would say, we can only give it to a couple of kids, because we don't want to bankrupt the school. But also, because it will be motivating if we only award the kids who improve the most.

So, we'll say, we'll give it to the top two kids in the class who have improved the most. And we might give it out every week, so that it's a constant motivation for kids to try. It would be similar to any program for star awards or class awards that are given out at assemblies in your school. We'd give out those two vouchers to the kids in each class that have improved the most.

So, then let's think, well, would we want to do something like, we'd only make the vouchers for healthy meals at McDonald's or KFC so that they don't get fat and eat lots of junk food? And that sounds like a good idea, because the negative team is likely to say, why would we want kids to be going and eating lots of junk food and getting unhealthy? We shouldn't be doing that.

So, we might say, oh, well they'll only be allowed to get a salad or a bag of apples from McDonald's. But that would be a bad idea, because why would you work really hard to improve your grades if you can only go and eat healthy food that you don't even really want? So we're not going to fall into the trap of limiting what kids can get with the voucher. We'll say they can get anything they want, and it's more important that kids are motivated to improve their grades than it is that they have an unhealthy meal once in a while.

So, there are other ways that we can beat that argument from the negative with our own rebuttal and our own arguments. We don't need to put it in the definition. We just need the bare details. The vouchers will be $10. They'll be given weekly to the two kids in each class who improve the most.

The final question we need to answer is, when will this change happen? This is somewhat of a big change. And schools will need to set aside money and buy those vouchers from McDonald's and KFC. And the teachers will need to sit down and have a look at which kids have improved.

So, we'll say that will wait until the start of next term to bring in this system to make sure that schools have enough time to adjust. So, let's give it as if it was a speech. I'm going to do the first step of context. And then I'll give the definition that we just went through together. So, remember, context is telling me what the big problem in the world is that the affirmative team is trying to solve.

Ladies and gentlemen, there's a massive problem. Kids who aren't doing well in school are just sitting around, and they have no reason to try harder. They're just giving up and thinking they don't need to listen in class. That is a massive problem.

So, what are we going to do? Well, we the affirmative today, are going to implement a plan in all Australian schools. What are the details? We are going to award a $10 voucher to the top two kids in each class who have improved the most each week. That voucher will be to McDonald's or KFC.

When will this change happen? We'll wait until the start of next term to implement this change to make sure that kids know that the plan is coming in and schools have time to adjust and make sure they've bought enough vouchers. All right, thanks for going through that definition and the context with me. Remember, that you don't want to give me too many details, just enough that I can follow your plan and make sure that I'm obeying your new rules.

Good luck with your own definitions. And I'm sure I'll speak to you guys soon.

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