Sharing good stories IDEA NL members #2 Poland - Engaging students in history through debate

IDEA is an organisation that consists of strong members with a long history of debating education. Some members already over 20 years! Decades of debate education! Decades of stories to share.
With this story of Macedonia we start a series of good stories from events supported bij IDEA. Stories of which we hope they will inspire you!

Good stories #1 Poland: Engaging students in history through debates
by Aleksandra Brodowska - Program coordinator Polish Debating Foundation

In 2018, Poland celebrated the 100th anniversary of independence. A moment to look back at the history of the past century and critically reflect on it.
If we want to understand contemporary societies and responsibly face our current challenges, history can teach us a valuable lesson.

For this reason, the Polish Debating Foundation and Piłsudski's Museum have partnered up in order to get high school students involved into a discussion on historical events. 
In just 6 months, 12 new debating clubs were established. Every school received a guidebook, dedicated materials on historical events and practical workshops on debating skills.
Teachers who decided to run a debating club were continuously supported both methodologically and practically.
The capstone of the project was a tournament in Warsaw which gathered more than 80 participants.

Fascinating discussions, new ideas and perspectives

Despite the fact that for the prevailing majority it was the very first encounter with debates, the event exceeded every expectations - both on the participant and organizer sides. 
Debates turned out to be an exceptional good way to engage students in historical studies. The tournament provided a space not only for competitive argumentation, but also for fascinating discussions, encounters with new ideas and perspectives, as well as unanswered questions. It became clear to all that diversity enables us to learn from each other and inspires better understanding of the past generation's as well as our own dilemmas.

Continuing debating program in the future

The duration of the project is 3 years. With memorable experiences, the schools are currently preparing for the spring tournament.
We expect even more dynamic exchange of arguments and that the skills and knowledge gained during the program will help the students to actively follow their dream careers.
On our side, we could not have imagined a better way to celebrate independence than to popularize debates and independent thinking among young enthusiasts of history. This is why we hope to continue the program in the following years and keep museums silent no more.

Poland high school debate