Empower the youth - let's give them voice

by Windmills of Masuria Association
Empower the youth - let's give them voice
Empower the youth - let's give them voice
Empower the youth - let's give them voice
Empower the youth - let's give them voice
Empower the youth - let's give them voice
Empower the youth - let's give them voice

Project Report | Feb 2, 2024
We organized the 2nd Masuria Debate League

By Iwona Olkowicz | Board member, program coordinator

statues for the winners
statues for the winners

/Polish version below/

In the fall of 2023, we launched the 2nd Masuria League of Oxford Debates. This time we worked in parallel with students from 3 elementary schools and 4 high schools. This is the first time we have worked with high schools, but we must admit that this is a cool group, more mature, and easier for them to debate.

We conducted a series of classes to prepare young people for debates - we explained the rules of Oxford debate and practiced building arguments and verifying information. The youth understood that Wikipiedia is not the most reliable source of knowledge - or at least its Polish edition :) The ability to distinguish real information from fake news is a crucial element of functioning in the modern world. We offered young people to take a quiz on the fight against fake news, and it turned out that out of 15 questions, no one answered all of them correctly. Elementary school students were about half able to distinguish between truth and fake news. Their older counterparts did much better. We can see that this is an important topic, and we need to devote more classes to it.

Rhetoric classes and trial debates aroused a lot of emotion - initial confidence turned into stress that was difficult to manage. From class to class, it was apparent how the young people were becoming better prepared for debating, how they built sentences more efficiently, how they controlled their stress, and - especially in the older age group - how they reacted to what the other debating team was saying.

More than 50 17-19-year-olds and 38 13-16-year-olds took part. 

We organized debates in elementary schools in December and stopped at the stage of intra-school debates for the time being. The thesis of these debates was "Social media stupefy" - young people prepared very interesting arguments for and against the thesis.

After the winter holidays, we will continue the activities and organize the stage of semifinals and finals.

With the older youth we have already passed all the stages - in December we held intra-school debates, in which the thesis was "Ecological actions in Poland are ineffective". We must admit that the young people showed creativity, as each of the four debates was different and there were different arguments. We organized the semifinals on January 10 in Elk. The thesis of this stage was "Modern youth is intolerant". The level of the debates was high, and it was very interesting to listen to the arguments of young people. After the results were announced, we introduced the teams to the thesis of the final debate, which was "Artificial intelligence should rule the world." The finals took place a week later.

The young people surprised us doubly - first, the teams that lost in the semifinals did not want to give up debating at all. We assumed that there would be only one debate in the finals - for victory. And the youngsters wanted to debate. It was amazing! The second surprise was the level of debate. It should be noted that in the Masuria Debate League, 30 minutes before the debate, the debating teams draw the side they will represent - so they do not have to agree with the arguments presented. However, they debated with such commitment and conviction that they wowed us. 

After this experience, we are convinced that the Masuria League of Oxford Debates must continue. And it's largely up to you - donate again so that we can raise funds to run the classes, transport the youngsters, and the prizes. Just go here http://goto.gg/57433 and donate. This will be the best investment for young people from small towns!

We also have a second request - if you have an idea for a thesis for future debates, please send us in the comments or email us at biuro@wiatrakimazur.org.pl.

 

Zorganizowalismy II Mazurska Lige Debat

Jesienia 2023 uruchomilismy II Mazurska Lige Debat Oksfordzkich. Tym razem pracowalismy równolegle z uczniami z 3 szkól podstawowych i 4 szkól srednich. Po raz pierwszy wspópracujemy ze szkolami srednimi, ale trzeba przyznac, ze jest to fajna grupa, bardziej dojrzala i troche latwiej jej przychodzi debatowanie.

Przeprowadzilismy cykl zajec przygotowujacych mlodziez do debat – wyjasnialismy zasady debaty oksfordzkiej, cwiczylismy budowanie argumentów i weryfikowanie informacji. Mlodziez zrozumiala, ze Wikipiedia nie jest najbardziej wiarygodnym zródlem wiedzy – a przynajmniej jej polskie wydanie :) Umiejetnosc odróznienia prawdziwych informacji od fake-newsów to bardzo istotny element funkcjonowania we wspólczesnym swiecie. Zaproponowalismy mlodziezy wykonanie quizu dotyczacego walki z fake-newsami i okazalo sie, ze na 15 pytan nikt nie odpowiedzial na wszystkie prawidlowo. Mlodziez ze szkól podstawowych mniej wiecej w polowie byla w stanie odróznic prawde od falszywej informacji. Ich starsi koledzy radzili sobie duzo lepiej. Widac, ze jest to wazny temat i musimy poswiecic temu wiecej zajec.

Zajecia retoryczne i debaty próbne budzily duzo emocji – poczatkowa pewnosc siebie zamieniala sie w trudny do opanowania stres. Z zajec na zajecia widac byo, jak mlodziez coraz lepiej jest przygotowana do debatowania, jak sprawniej buduje zdania, jak panuje nad stresem i – zwlaszcza w starszej grupie wiekowej – jak reaguje na to, co mówila druga druzyna debatancka.

W zajeciach wzielo udzial ponad 50 osób w wieku 17-19 lat i 38 osób w wieku 13-16 lat. 

Debaty w szkolach podstawowych zorganizowalismy w grudniu i na razie zatrzymalismy sie na etapie debat wewnatrzszkolnych. Teza tych debat brzmiala „Media spolecznosciowe oglupiaja” – mlodzi ludzie przygotowali bardzo interesujace argumenty za i przeciw tezie. Po feriach zimowych bedziemy kontynuowac zajecia i organizowac etap pófinalów i final.

Ze starsza mlodzieza przeszlismy juz wszystkie etapy – w grudniu odbyly sie debaty wewnatrzszkolne, w których teza brzmiala „Dzialania ekologiczne w Polsce sa nieskuteczne”. Trzeba przyznac, ze modziez wykazala sie kreatywnoscia, bo kazda z czterech debat byla inna i pojawiay sie inne argumenty. Pófinaly zorganizowalismy 10 stycznia w Bibliotece Publicznej w Elku. Teza tego etapu brzmialla „Wspóczesna mlodziez jest nietolerancyjna”. Poziom debat byl naprawde wysoki i bardzo ciekawie suchalo sie argumentów mlodych ludzi. Po ogloszeniu wyników zapoznalismy druzyny z teza debaty finalowej, która brzmiala „Sztuczna inteligencja powinna rzadzic swiatem”. Finaly odbyly sie tydzien pózniej.

Mlodzi ludzie zaskoczyli nas podwójnie – po pierwsze druzyny, które przegraly w pófinalach wcale nie chcialy rezygnowac z debatowania. My zakladalismy, ze w finale bedzie tylko jedna debata – o zwyciestwo. A mlodziez chciala debatowac. To bylo niesamowite! Drugie zaskoczenie dotyczylo poziomu debaty. Trzeba podkreslic, ze w Mazurskiej Lidze Debat, na 30 minut przed debata, druzyny debatanckie losuja strone, która beda reprezentowac – zatem nie musza zgadzac sie z przedstawianymi argumentami. Jednak debatowali z takim zaangazowaniem i przekonaniem, ze wzbudzili nasz zachwyt. 

Po tym doswiadczeniu jestesmy przekonani, ze Mazurska Liga Debat Oxfordzkich musi byc kontynuowana. A to w duzej mierze zalezy od Ciebie – przekaz darowizne ponownie, abysmy mogli zebrac srodki na prowadzenie zajec, transport mlodziezy i nagrody. Wystarczy wejsc tu http://goto.gg/57433 i dokonac wplaty. To bedzie najlepsza inwestycja w mlodych ludzi z malych miejscowosci!

Mamy tez druga prosbe – jesli masz pomysl na teze do kolejnych debat, przeslij nam prosze w komentarzu lub napisz do nas e-mail na biuro@wiatrakimazur.org.pl.

intra-school debate
intra-school debate
intra-school debate
intra-school debate
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Oct 6, 2023
The first debate final is already behind us!

By Iwona Olkowicz | Board Member, Project Coordinator

Jun 6, 2023
League of Oxford Debates is gaining momentum

By Iwona Olkowicz | Program Coordinator, Board Member

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Organization Information

Windmills of Masuria Association

Location: Stare Juchy - Poland
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Iwona Olkowicz
Stare Juchy , Poland

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