Education debate topics for Teacher Appreciation Week

As Teacher Appreciation Week approaches, we want to show our gratitude for your hard work and dedication by providing you with a handy list of Kialo Templates on a topic dear to our heart: Education!

We’ve organized these debate topics loosely by school level, but they can always be customized to suit the needs of your classroom. Here at Kialo Edu, we believe it’s never too early to start cultivating critical thinking and reasoned argumentation skills. Engage in lively discussions with your elementary, middle, or high school students to prompt them to consider how they spend the majority of their day!

Education discussions for elementary school students

This selection of Kialo Templates graded for ages eight and up, such as this one on the topic of whether schools should start later in the day. Ideal for getting students thinking first thing in the morning!

1. Should schools start later in the day?

Should schools start later in the day?

2. Should students have to wear school uniforms?

If your students are required to wear uniforms, they may have a lot to say about this debate topic! But it could equally be interesting for students in one of the many schools where uniforms are not required. Are there any students who would prefer not to have to choose their outfits every morning?

Should students have to wear school uniforms?

3. Should students be allowed to bring their pets to school?

Some students are so fond of their pets that they want to bring them everywhere — including to school! In this discussion, students can debate the pros and cons of bringing their furry pal into the classroom.

Should students be allowed to bring their pets to school?

Education discussions for middle school students

We’re getting technological with our middle school discussions. It’s possible that you’ve heard from students before about why they need their phones in class — now they can refine their arguments with our discussion template on whether smartphones should be allowed in school. Perhaps even to use their smartphones to participate in Kialo Edu discussions!

1. Should students be allowed to use smartphones in school?

Should students be allowed to use smartphones in school?

2. Can technology truly replace teachers?

From the ubiquitous technology of today to the hypothetical technology of tomorrow: Do you think one day machines will replace human teachers? This template might be particularly relevant if you’ve been discussing the recent advances in generative AI technology such as ChatGPT. And while all of our Kialo Edu discussion templates are presented in a balanced, unbiased fashion, we’ll let you in on a little secret — we believe that teachers are truly irreplaceable!

Can technology truly replace teachers?

3. What’s the most important quality for a teacher to have?

While you’re on the subject of teachers, why not have a discussion on the most important quality for a teacher to have? You can gain insight into students’ honest opinions, and to alleviate the pressure, you can make the discussion anonymous — but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to see the students’ real identities!

What’s the most important quality for a teacher to have?

Education discussions for high school students

1. Should schools use students’ home dialects of English to teach standard English?

We’ve selected some slightly weightier debates for high school students to delve into. In the classroom, students are often encouraged to use standard English, which may differ from the dialect they use at home or with their peers. Should these dialects be used in the classroom alongside standard American English? This discussion raises topics of linguistic diversity and inclusivity, and is sure to get students talking.

Should schools use students’ home dialects of English to teach standard English?

2. Should schools be able to ban books?

Teacher Appreciation Week recognizes the importance of educators, imparting knowledge and instruction to ready students for adulthood. However, exactly what students should be exposed to during their school years is contentious. If you’re looking to explore a thought-provoking and timely issue in contemporary education, consider having students debate whether or not schools should have the power to ban books.

Should schools be able to ban books?

3. Should university be free?

Finally, for students considering post-secondary education, the prospect of university tuition costs may weigh heavily on their minds, particularly if they come from countries where college isn’t already free. Encourage your high schoolers to join this discussion and share their thoughts on the merits (or drawbacks) of free university education!

Should university be free?

Tips on having engaging class discussions with students

Educators around the world are always devising new and exciting ways to use our platform. Here are just a few ideas for you to consider in using Kialo Edu for class discussions!

1. Have students lead discussions

Having students take on the running of a class activity doesn’t generally result in any downtime for educators, but it is a great way of building student confidence and instilling a sense of responsibility.

This Teacher Appreciation Week, why not have some students take on the role of discussion leader and organize debates among their peers, either as a class or in groups? They could pick a discussion from our fun introductory templates or create their own!

2. Use discussions to get student feedback on their learning

You could create a discussion to examine which activities the students enjoyed most this year, or what topics they want to study more of going forward. Allowing students time to reflect or choose the direction of their learning creates a sense of autonomy and helps students feel more invested in their learning. 

3. Strengthen personal connections with your students

Drawing on your students’ particular interests, you can bring this term’s hot topic out of the hallways and into the classroom. Let students have it out over the superior pop single or whether Taco Tuesday is better than Pizza Friday. Let them debate what they really want to talk about!

However you celebrate this Teacher Appreciation Week, know that we value you, and your thoughts! If you’ve used Kialo Edu to have a particularly fruitful debate with students, have a query about the platform, or simply want to say hello — you can contact us directly at, or via our our social media. From all of us here at Kialo Edu: we appreciate your dedication to empowering students all year round!

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