Speak freely - engaging young people in politics

Posted on March 16th 2017

In the light of recent development in Europe and the US, Absolutely Education reports on how we engage young people in politics.  The articles states: “The long tradition of debate and oratory in our independent schools is a very good place to start”; Keith Budge is featured discussing the approach at Bedales.

In the article, Keith says: “Debate stands at the very heart of a classical education. In the classical context, the focus of education was on the subjects and skills deemed essential if one was to take an active part in civic life – for example, public debate. Any effective contribution to public life requires the exercise of rhetorical skills, and Bedales encourages both public speaking and debating,”

He continues: “In the run up to the EU referendum the school staged a debate. One of our students found himself very much in the minority in making a powerful case for exiting the EU. I am proud to report that the many students who disagreed with him equally passionately were also happy to share with him their admiration for the skill with which he made his case. We want our students to understand educational establishments as places where freedom of expression is a privileged principle, and that this means that they will encounter ideas that they do not like.”

The full article can be downloaded here, with the kind permission of Absolutely Education magazine.