Debate and 21st-century skills - Point Avenue

Debate and 21st-century skills

Debate and 21st-century skills

We live in a world facing environmental, social, economic changes and crises. Individuals must be able to navigate, process, and take action in order to thrive. Among many skills, there are 4 important skills students must obtain to become future leaders, including:

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

These skills not only help children develop comprehensively but also lay the foundation for their successful future. At Point Avenue, these skills are maximized in our debating classes. For debate is a team academic sport, students always have to build multi-perspective thinking, find new and different approaches, and finally, perform in front of the judges.

In this post, we'll explore the connection between debate and 4 essential learning skills in the 4.0 technology era and how they can help your child become global leaders! 

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze, question, and challenge existing opinions and norms. It’s the ability to provide new approaches and solutions to old problems. In the era of fake news and the culture of inflammatory reporting, debaters must be able to sift through endless streams of information and select rational, credible sources. In a debate, your mind is constantly on alert to watch out for unsubstantiated claims, exaggerated outcomes, and misrepresentation of the issue.



Communication is the ability to express and share ideas, opinions, and solutions. Through debate, you will be engaging in all four levels of communication: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Debate is not just about standing on the podium to deliver your opinion. Debate is about listening to your teammates and opponents. Through active listening, you will be able to deliver coherent ideas and clear rebuttals. You must also be able to read and research in order to be well informed about the world. Writing is fundamental to becoming a great speaker. You must hone your ability to use the right nuance and words.


Collaboration is the ability to work in a team towards a common goal by using the best of your knowledge, talent, and expertise. Debate is a team activity. You must be able to work in a team and learn the skills of leading but also following. Furthermore, you must put your best foot forward to share ideas to create a great team case beyond your own individual speech. Good teams are able to deliver a strong case. Great teams are able to deliver a strong case and flexibly adapt to their opponent’s refutation. The very best teams are able to deliver a strong case, flexibly adapt to their opponent’s rebuttals, and do so coherently and consistently by working together. 


Creativity is the ability to provide fresh, innovative approaches and solutions to existing problems. A good amount of debate motion center around age-old issues. Even if the motion is about a recent controversy, oftentimes the arguments provided are ones that have existed throughout time. Hence, it’s important for debaters to be able to bring a new perspective and approach. You will often find yourself connecting and linking information and opinions across different sectors and fields, which is an incredibly innovative process.


Find out more about our debate-intensive summer camp 2022

Debate for All