Lesli Grant has committed her life to education and worked at primary through adult levels. Her gifts include her vision and experience of what works to inspire and motivate learners and her playfulness and insight into individual uniqueness. She uses her knowledge and her intuition.
In 2007, Lesli took over Gozone Debating from Chris Hodson. She was inspired by his playful, exciting workshops which she assisted in facilitating. Co-curricular primary school debating was purely for fun then.
The advice he gave at handover based on his 7 years of experience was - move to award levels. Award levels were introduced the next year.
Her background includes a BSc from the University of California, Davis campus. Certificate of Inter-cultural Consumer Education from Fresno State University, Workplace Training. She has worked in Teacher Training at Nedlands College and ECU. Lesli worked with the Department of Training in: New Opportunities for Women program, A/Coordinator of N.O.W (4years), Career Development Unit.
She developed the Rise & Shine Debating system and collaborated with Saani Bennetts and Becca Martin to develop the adjudication framework, Easy Steps to Debating, student handbook and Teacher’s Handbook currently in progress.
Having seen the success of age appropriate debating in building student skills, Lesli is keen to promote this system more widely. Students with differing talents and levels, including students from a language other than English are empowered to believe “I CAN” following the experience. This self belief is a powerful motivation to engage in learning in general.
About the Rise & Shine System
Rise & Shine Debating has perfected a system which uses debating as a real life experience to learn teamwork, research skills and build confidence. It's the process of working in a little team and having support. Using topics that matter to young people builds engagement. Research to find out all about their topic has as much support as is needed. Students are expected to express their own ideas - what makes sense to them at this stage of their development.
If you develop a continuum of the skills of manner, matter and method at the age appropriate level for primary school and create a framework in plain language, students can see where they are with their skills and how they can improve. This fosters learning rather than competition only.
Win does not say what exactly you did that was successful and runner up is often translated as looser, regards of all the things you did well.
If you win a Bronze Award that means you delivered a debate in front of an audience, and did certain things. Yes you didn’t do everything but you got credit for what you did.
For those gifted in the literacy and persuasive arts, your gift of talking becomes something with power and recognition. If you are a quiet researcher, you can earn a Gold Award for this, even as your confidence with speaking is growing.
We believe these things can be used in every school to prepare students for further study and for work. It can be so much fun. Student’s at Yokine Primary insisted on debating that Soccer is better than Aussie Rules. They had heaps of great arguments both ways. The audience loved it. Students from many cultures connected with their backgrounds and succeeded publicly. The engagement at school increased.
Rise & Shine Debating (formerly Gozone Debating) is based in Perth, Western Australia.
We offer outside-school-hours and tailored in-class debating programs, in-house and interschool debate events and adjudication within Perth. We provide professional learning opportunities for teachers and coaches in Perth and regional areas, as well as consultancy and debating resources Australia-wide.
Benefits of Debating
7 Skills for Success According to Google
In 2013, Google decided to test how their hiring and firing process was working. The results of 'Project Oxygen' surprised everyone. It turns out that of the eight most important skills at Google, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) expertise came in last.
The 7 top skills that Google (and many other employers) now look for in employees are: being a good coach, empathy and collaboration, communicating well, social awareness, critical thinking, problem-solving and connecting complex ideas.
These are exactly the skills we develop through Rise & Shine Debating, along with other vital skills for 21st century success in life and learning.
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.
Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, argument and debate.”
Parent of Natalie, debating student
Debating is so much fun with Lesli and the Rise & Shine team. The coaches have a good sense of humour and a love of teaching that helps children connect with them quickly and engage with all things debating. They learn the art of debating in a constructive and non-judgemental environment. My daughter loves the classes, learns so much and is gaining a lot more self-confidence.
Teacher & Debating Coach
I am constantly inspired to see the emerging self-assurance of students who take part in Rise & Shine debating classes. Clearly, its one-of-a-kind approach makes for building
confidence among students in developing and speaking their own ideas. I invariably find that students' self-expression and their joy in having their ideas valued adds up to what can only be well-founded self-confidence for their life ahead.
Parent of Year 6 debating student
My daughter has loved her debating classes in Years 5 & 6 and I have seen her confidence and skills blossom over that time. It has been wonderful to see her progress with every debate
event and I have appreciated the focus on helping students improve every time they debate. I'm sure the skills she's
learned through debating will
stand her in good stead for high school next year.