After School Debating Skills Session (Secret Topics Workshop)

On Thursday 20 February, a special workshop was held in the St Margaret’s Lecture Theatre. Al Gurling, Vice President of the Debaters Association of Victoria, delivered a session aimed at helping senior debaters prepare for secret topics. The session was well attended, with many students from St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar School giving up their afternoon to develop their higher-order thinking skills.

As a debater with countless years of experience in both a national and international context, Al was able to offer insightful advice for our aspirational debaters.

The densely detailed session focused on many advanced skills, such as: explaining the context for issues being debated, establishing a team’s case, outlining a model, offering a counter model, completing a stakeholder analysis, selecting key information (and letting go of less important points), how to formally structure ideas, proving causation, and the difference between creating a well-formed argument and simply spewing out a ‘shopping list’ of examples.

This session was invaluable for the young men and women in attendance, and Al is to be commended on the excellent ideas he presented. Our students were grateful for the opportunity to learn from one of the best.

Mr Sean Pieper and Mrs Emily Bermingham
My Summit Extra-Curricular Enrichment Coordinators