Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WDI Sister Program in Slovenia off to Strong Start

Over 80 debaters, teachers and trainers from 25 countries (Singapore, Afghanistan, USA, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Italy, Finland, Serbia, France, Croatia, Germany, Thailand, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Venezuela, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Scotland, Hong Kong, Moldova, Montenegro, England, Wales and perhaps more) are having quite a time in Ormoz, Slovenia at the Seventh International Debate Academy Slovenia, a week long intensive training program that concludes with a tournament in Ljubljana.

Each day has a lecture, that is followed by exercises for everyone, divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced groups. Lectures for the advanced cover basic areas for debating, such as International Relations (Anne Valkering), Ecology (Alfred Snider), Economics (Rhydian Morgan), Law and Justice (Chris Langone) and Principle and Philosophy (Stephen Boyle). For intermediate and beginners, there is a more mundane sequence: public speaking, proposition strategy, opposition strategy, second team strategy and points of information.

Each day there are a series of electives in the afternoon that students can choose from.
  • Style, Chris Langone
  • Note taking, Alfred Snider
  • Argument building, Gavin Illsley
  • 13 Minutes Prep, Loke Wing Fatt
  • Motion Analysis, Jens Fischer
  • Debating Secessionist Movements, Maja Nenadovic
  • Whip Speeches, Isa Loewe
  • Basic Reasoning, Chris Langone
  • How to NOT Get Last When you Don't Know Shit, Anne Valkering
  • 12 Ways to Refute an Argument, Jens Fischer

  • Making Your Arguments More Important, Alfred Snider
  • Persuasion Techniques, Chris Langone
  • Debating Humanitarian Intervention, Isa Loewe
  • Making GOOD Slippery Slope Arguments, Gavin Illsley
  • Fundraising, Anne Valkering
  • Rules of the WUDC Format, Loke Wing Fatt
  • Preparation for Tournaments, Bojana Skrt
  • Debating Turkey & the EU, Stephen Boyle
  • Better Team Work, Maja Nenadovic
  • Principles of International Law, Jens Fischer
  • Democratization, Maja Nenadovic
  • Debating Law, Chris Langone
  • Opposition One, Gavin Illsley
  • Policy, Value & Analysis Motions, Anne Valkering
  • Tabulating Competions & Using Tab Software, Jens Fischer
  • International Criminal Court, Isa Loewe
  • If English is NOT Your First Language, Bojana Skrt
  • Debating Ecology, Alfred Snider
  • Governments & Economics, Stephen Boyle

There have been some teacher and trainer sessions:
  • Organizing a Debate Team, Bojana Skrt
  • Training and Coaching, Loke Wing Fatt & Bojana Skrt
  • Tournament Hosting and Organizing, Anne Valkering

There have been two public debates:

Student-Faculty Demonstration Debate, Saturday Night
  • Faculty: Loke Wing Fatt & Gavin Illsley, Isa Loewe & Anne Valkering
  • Students: Anna England Kerr & Crt Podlogar, Filip Dobranic & Maja Cimerman
  • Motion: This House supports mandatory vaccinations.
  • Critics: Jens Fischer & Chris Langone

World Schools Demonstration Debate, Monday Night
  • Proposition: Slovenia National Team
  • Opposition: Romanian National Team
  • Motion: This House would deny the right to strike to workers in essential area.
  • Critic: Gavin Illsley

Practice debate motions will move from easier to more difficult, prep time starts at 30 minutes and will be cut down to 15. Here are the motions for Sunday & Monday.
  • This House would not negotiate with pirates.
  • This House would not eat meat
  • This House would pay a wage to stay at home parents
  • Thisd House would legalize soft drugs.

We have had two awesome parties that lasted late into the night and had music, dancing and much frivolity.
  • Sunday night - country exhibition
  • Monday night - kitsch party (strange clothing, cross-dressing, unusual make up)

Our Faculty includes:
  • Stephen Boyle, Ireland, Irish Times Champion, twice breaking at WUDC, now University of Vermont
  • Loke Wing Fatt, Singapore, SAID, the debating monk
  • Jens Fischer, Germany, President European Debating Council
  • Gavin Illsley, Scotland, communication consultant
  • Chris Langone, USA, lawyer & Cornell University
  • Isa Loewe, Germany/France, European ESL Champion
  • Rhydian Morgan, Wales, Stylus Communications
  • Maja Nenadovic, Hungary, University of Amsterdam
  • Bojana Skrt, Slovenia, ZIP
  • Thepparith Senamngern, Thailand, WUDC Convener Bangkok 2008
  • Alfred Snider, USA, University of Vermont, World Debate Institute
  • Anne Valkering, Netherlands, WUDC ESL Champion 2008, Bonaparte University
At the end of the week we will be moving to Ljubljana, where a dozen or so more teams will join us for a tournament at the Faculty of Public Administration.

More news coming in a day or so.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Argumentation, Debate & Critical Pedagogy Conference October 2010

The World Debate Institute at the University of Vermont USA and ZIP, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga/ Pro et contra Institute for culture of dialogue Slovenia invite all scholars and practitioners of argumentation, rhetoric, debate, and educators using deliberative education methodologies to the International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment -- THINKING AND SPEAKING A BETTER WORLD.

Two conferences have been held, one in Koper and the other in Ljubljana Slovenia. The next conference is planned for October 28-29-30 2010. The conference will be hosted by The University of Maribor, Faculty of Pedagogy, Department of Philosophy. http://www.uni-mb.si/

The conference will welcome scholars and educators from diverse fields for vigorous dialogue and exchange. This conference will unite scholars of argumentation and rhetoric, teachers, and organizers of local, national and international debating networks to discuss critical thinking and advocacy discourse through pedagogy. We intend for the conference to welcome all who are involved in public discussions and debates about different issues.

This conference is extremely timely. A global information society which seeks reasoned solutions to problems through broad citizen involvement needs to develop and refine techniques for criticizing and validating ideas through discourse and then impart these to new generations of citizens if we are to create a better future and avoid looming crises. This conference represents a unique opportunity to share ideas, network and cross-fertilize with global critical thinkers.

The program for the conference will have three themes. Submissions are encouraged to center their work on one of the three themes and to submit proposals to the appropriate conference division. Interdisciplinary work that might fit into more than one category is welcome.
• Argumentation and rhetoric. The use of logic and reason to criticize and analyze ideas through communication. Those interested in research on argumentation theory, criticisms of communication acts and scholarship on argumentation practice are encouraged to submit to this division.
• Debate. The use of formal argumentation forums to educate and empower citizens. Those interested in work on the practice and theory of debate competition, public debates, research on the impact of debate for participants, and theorizing about debate paradigms are encouraged to submit to this division.
• Critical thinking/pedagogy. Teaching and the methodology of teaching in the active classroom. Those interested in using debate, discussion and argumentation in classrooms, discussion of experiences and teaching lessons relating to communication and critical thinking are encouraged to submit to this division. 

A committee of conference organizers and scholars will examine submissions to each division. Deadlines and committees will be announced soon.

Those wishing to attend the conference without submitting a paper are very welcome but must register.

Organizing committee:

Bojana Skrt, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga, Slovenia

Alfred C. Snider, World Debate Institute, University of Vermont, USA
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