Bravehearts start with a promising win

…but at the end of the day the score is one all for all debating teams.

Should passenger cars be banned from city centres? It seems as if the executive board members of major car companies should start recruiting their future lobbyists among our debaters!

Last Friday the HvGG Debating Team aka Bravehearts hosted the first two rounds of this year’s Senior Debating South League.

Visiting teams came from Goethe Gymnasium Karlsruhe, International School Frankfurt and Internatsschule Schloss Hansenberg.

The motions were
Round 1 (impromptu): This House believes passenger cars should be banned from city centres.
Round 2 (prepared): This House believes that foreign citizens with a residence permit should be allowed to vote in all elections.

Despite all the media attention about cars contributing heavily to climate change, polluting the air and thus reducing life expectancy among the residents and not to forget the wishful thinking of inner-city green oases for mental recreation – our debaters managed to convincingly argue for the status quo of granting passenger cars access to city centres.

Cynicism aside, the main areas of contention, feasibility, and the prospect of a much quicker process of replacing motor cars by electric vehicles won the debate in terms of content. It certainly came in handy that we had successfully defended electric cars as sustainable last year – funnily enough equally in round 1.

But it was not only content that won the debate, but also the promising performance as far as style and strategy were concerned. Two categories which count heavily within the strict debating format. (For details check our homepage – or join us Wednesdays, 6th and 7th period!)

Expectations could not have been set higher for the following prepared debate on the motion

This house believes that foreign citizens with a residence permit should be allowed to vote in all elections.

This time we had to propose the motion and for a long time it looked as if the debate ran in our favour. Unfortunately though, due to technicalities the tight debate was given to team opposition. Certainly an educational experience for our rookie debaters who had put in a lot of effort into preparing for their speeches at home as well as in extra tutorials at school. They were poised and ready to make their first appearance on the debating scene and they left their mark:

Here’s a team that should be reckoned with!

Tired but happy we closed the debating venue in the evening, looking forward to rounds 3 and 4 in February.

Congrats for their terrific commitment and effort go to Tillmann Bier, Chiara Spors, Mira Lange and especially to our rookies Lucie Jourdan, Eva Rüdinger and Leander Jussen! Hear, Hear!

A special thanks to the Verein der Ehemaligen und Freunde for supporting our membership in the Debating Society Germany!

Interested? Join us Wednesdays 6th and 7th period in A15 (E Phase upwards)!

Debating at the HvGG

Thank God it’s Friday! This Friday our debating club will host Rounds 1 and 2 of this year’s Senior Debating League!

Debating teams from Goethe Gymnasium Karlsruhe, Schloss Hansenberg and local rivals (and even more so friends!) from ISF will debate on Friday, Nov. 25th on the motion:

This House believes that foreigners with a resident permit should be allowed to vote in all elections.

There will also be an impromptu motion, the motion anouncement will take place at 1:40 pm sharp, the impromptu debates will start at 2:45.

Please check notice board in the hall of the A-Bau for further details or contact our debaters or Mr Probst

When: Friday 25th January

Round 1: 14:45 – 16:00 (Impromptu)

Round 4: 16.30 – 17:45 (Prepared)

Where: A-Bau (see notice board for futher details on the day of the venue)

Motion: This House believes that foreigners with a resident permit should be allowed to vote in all elections.

Teams: Goethe Gymnasium Karlsruhe, International School Frankfurt, Internatsschule Schloss Hansenberg, HvGG

Visitors welcome!

Come and support our team!

Please note: as always space for visitors is limited. Please be on time and do not disrupt an ongoing debate by coming late OR leaving early. 

Find out more on or contact Mr Probst.

NO to arbitrary! Debating team finishes South League with a final win

Last Friday our school’s senior debating team successfully defended their just merits at school opposing the given motion:

This House believes access to degree programmes at university should be handed out randomly rather than on the basis of final school grades.

And rightly so.

During preparation we were faced with at first unexpected but at the same time strong arguments for the case team proposition might use: One could have questioned the reliability and validity of school grades, especially between different schools, not to speak of different federal states. An argument not few Gagern students are painfully aware of when competing for grades on a high level in their classrooms and final examinations. Another main argument could have been the idea of reshifting the focus from a mere output of the best possible Abitur grade to a truly humanistic education of young men and women. A shift which most certainly would unleash potential and open up possibilites for teachers in their classes, counter the ongoing inflation of grades and most importantly would truly raise the academic level of lessons at school. No teacher would feel the pressure to „evaluate“ their own success with good grades on their students’ side and no student would have to focus on grades instead of their personal development when reading Goethe or Shakespeare.

Instead, we were faced with a move which has become all to common these days: team proposition tried to nuke us by pulling the privilege card. But this knee-jerk reaction was all too simple for our by now pretty experienced and confident debaters. The reality of privilege in our educational system is undeniable. But how would handing out degree programmes at random ensure that less privileged students would get the affirmative action they most certainly are entitled to? Which programmes instead are already implemented in our school system to fight the effects of privilege and how just would it be to deprive a bright young student of his academic career chances because of his family background? And, when it comes down to it, the nimby effect (not in my backyard): who do you want to operate on you? Someone who ambitiously worked up his way through school and university and showed his aptness for a career in medicine – or someone who got into medicine by a system that comes close to a lottery? And it goes without saying that more or less the same is true for your lawyer or the one who runs the company you are employed at.

The deciding factor, however, was once again our knowledge of Latin and thus knowing the ethymology of the very concept „Abitur“: A habit forming process at the end of which young, promising men and women are able to not only receive higher education but to take on the world, the academic world as well as the professional world, with a set of skills and values that enables them to succeed.

With this win the debating season is now over for this year and we are looking forward to participating again in next year’s debating season.

Special congrats go out to Chiara Spors, Matthias Durth and Tillmann Bier for their outstanding effort and achievement. Hear Hear!

Von Georg Probst

Debaters start rookie season with cracking win

Despite all the media attention about electric cars being anything but sustainable our team managed to deliver a convincing case as to why electric cars indeed need to be portrayed as sustainable technology.

Five weeks into training our rookie debaters did not feel too confident about the first two rounds of this year’s debating season. And their flicikering nerves were more than understandable considering the strict debating format with its peculiar procedures, needs and expectations: the set structure of the 8 minute substantial speeches for each of the three debaters, reply speeches, points of information, rebuttal practice, ARE structure, SPERM model… technicalites galore for debates which last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. And all of these needed to be practised at short notice.

In addition, the debates took place online last Friday afternoon, and after a full school day including exams we were all somewhat knackered and expectations weren’t set too high. To make things worse, our newbies’ confidence sagged further after the more experienced members of our team had lost the preceding impromptu debate in what could be called a „debatable verdict“. The motion for this first round read: This House believes that families with two parents should have to take the same amount of parental leave. And despite our team being poised and convincing in defending this motion we had to admit defeat to team Opposition from Hans Thoma Gymnasium Lörrach.

However, our rookies came back strong in the second round against Nellenburg Gymnasium Stockach. Now being team Opposition ourselves we finally managed to convince the adjudicators of our case.

As indicated above, the exact motion for this prepared debate read: This House regrets the portrayal of electric cars as sustainable energy.

With this successful start into the debating season we are all looking forward to the forthcoming rounds 3 and 4, which will take place on February, 5.

Congratulations and a big thanks for their commitment and effort goes to Maja Seiffermann, Amie Thulin, Arina Anzupow, Tillmann Bier, Gesa Althoff and Chiara Spors.

A special thanks to Mr Goebel who once again supplied us with the necessary equipment and to the Verein der Ehemaligen und Freunde for supporting our membership in the Debating Society Germany!

Interested? Join us Wednesdays 10th and 11th period in A13 (E Phase upwards)!

Text und Foto: Georg Probst