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 Post subject: Back-to-Basics
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:50 pm 
Epicness at its awesomest
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:20 pm
Posts: 866
Home Schooled: Yes
Location: The Party Region (R8ght)
Hello, everyone

I am the coach for my club now, and we have a few returning students, but mostly a relatively wide roster of new people. I have been slightly torn about what needs to be taught first for this year - be it basic argumentation, speaker order/importance, etc. What do you all prioritize for teaching beginners? History of whatever resolution is chosen? Speaker orders? Etc.

Thanks for the input :)


Some days, words are not enough.

- Five year alumni turned debate coach.

 Post subject: Re: Back-to-Basics
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:34 pm 
Doesn't have a title.
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:47 pm
Posts: 2955
Home Schooled: Yes
Can't go wrong by starting off with four-point refutation -- make sure everyone has mastered it (it doesn't take long to master) before they learn more advanced skills.

Jordan Bakke

 Post subject: Re: Back-to-Basics
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:48 am
Posts: 468
Home Schooled: No
Location: Region 1
Here is part of the outline for a workshop I gave on "How to Start a TP Club." Use what's helpful and discard the rest :-)

III. Basics of TP Coaching
A. Coach so as to fulfill mission statement of the league
B. Suggested Topics to Teach (may want to have separate tracks for Novice/Experienced)

1. Resolution and Background
2. Flow Techniques – practice on sermons, political speeches/debates, youtube NCFCA rounds, in-club demonstrations and rounds
3. Structure of Round (what does a round entail)?
4. Case Organization, Casewriting, Research
5. Basic Debate Theory (multiple perspectives)
6. Logic, Argumentation, Refutation
7. Negative Strategies
8. Speaking Skills
9. Ethics, Rules, Evidence Standards
10. Time Management and what to expect at tournaments
11. Ballot Analysis; Using Ballots as a tool for improvement
12. Judge Analysis
C. Mentoring
1. Help students grow incrementally – step by step
2. Challenge advanced students to continue learning
3. Give opportunities for advanced students to mentor novices

IV. Games that help Develop Skills Useful in Debate
A. Resolution Jeopardy / Quiz Bowl
B. Answer a question with a meaningful question
C. Tongue-Twisters
D. Chain of Words (Ex. Category=Countries, Russia – Afghanistan – Nepal – Laos – Switzerland – Djibouti …………. Each word begins with the last letter of the previous word)
E. 2-minute mysteries / Mindtrap (for critical thinking)

I drew from multiple sources as I developed this workshop and my coaching topics for the past year, including Strategic Debate by Vance Trefethen, Blue Book Student (and Teacher) Guide by Suzanne Nasser, 2010-2011 Ironman Curriculum, The Great Debate Freedom to Communicate by Jonathan Wolfson, An Introduction to Policy Debate by Christy Shipe, and my own experiences as a coach. These are all good resources to help you develop strategies as a coach.

What should a human be able to do? I agree with Robert A. Heinlein

 Post subject: Re: Back-to-Basics
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:23 am 
The Great White Sharc
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:58 pm
Posts: 4769
Home Schooled: Yes
All that has been said is great, but I think one thing is often overlooked that is critically important: try to create a good club culture. People often don't learn as well when they're sitting listening to a lecture about something. But if, when hanging out with the other members of the club, they hear something about "permutation" and they feel like they should know what that is? That's when they become motivated to learn. That can be difficult to do with different sets of friendships and such, and I'm not for forced socialization, but perhaps encourage some of your older debaters to look out and make sure they incorporate the novices into their socialization.

I remember when I was in extemp there was discussion about changing the way we did practices, to eliminate the period when we did filing (or make it very quick and hushed), because it seemed to be a waste of time with a bunch of guys joking about the news as they filed and skimmed article headlines. But I realized that time was immensely valuable. Not only were people hearing about headlines they might have missed, the joking around often lead to good discussions. Even when it didn't the language was useful as we joked about, say, IMF policies. If someone didn't know something that was said they would often ask for clarification. That's when much of the learning happened.

In debate, that can often mean just being excited about the material as a coach. Get the kids interested, and often what happens outside of the class time is when they will really learn.

Marc Davis

I currently help coach at TACT in Region X.

 Post subject: Re: Back-to-Basics
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:23 pm 
Easiest Person to Kill with a Witty Comeback

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:36 am
Posts: 973
Home Schooled: Yes
I am still a student. However, I think it is very important that you don't tell your students what to believe about the different aspects of debate theory. If there is more than one way to look at something, show them both sides and let them make their own decision or let them debate about it in club. Just don't tell them that a theory argument is wrong or right; tell them why.

Also, have some fun examples to explain the stock issues, because for me, that was the hardest thing to learn. I think that the first practice round for novices should not be a formal debate round on the resolution. It should be an informal, impromptu debate about some other issue. Like: resolved, that we should go out to eat after our club meeting.

- Region 6 Alumnus

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