Thursday, July 19, 2007

High School Policy Debaters Face Deadline

As we near the seven day mark for the National High School Policy Debate Workshop today is the day when research assignments are due. Each research group has thought of and designed a strategic argumentative position and today they are supposed to deliver it for printing and distribution.

Each group goes through a process of argument development, research, review and then publishing. They began with a series of discussions about various ideas, and from these discussions they develop a major affirmative or negative argument that they want to work on. The students and instructor then develop a comprehensive research plan utilizing all facets of the global information architecture. Quite often students check scholarly volumes out from the library and read them in pursuit of ideas and evidence that can support or defeat the major argument they are developing. This reading phase is very important to develop the understand that complex issues of public policy need comprehensive examination and research. Then the evidence is processed into arguments. Then the overall position has to be refined based on the actual evidence that exists. After this a comprehensive argumentative position will be published, indexed and summarized before distribution.

So, needless to say people are rush to copy, print, download and adjust a variety of information bits. Groups with laptops are "tagging" evidence and processing before final assembly. People with flash drives full of digital materials are getting them printed and processed. The final sheets that the text will be put on has been designed and distributed.

It is coming up on dinner time on Thursday. Some will cut dinner short to come back to the Tyler Theatre to finish their work. The work period for today will end at 8:30 PM, and people hope to be finished.

You can get a report tomorrow on how the groups did.

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