Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Georgetown Debate Seminar.
We’re delighted to revive the tradition of the Georgetown Debate Institute this summer. Hundreds of students and instructors fondly recall their intense summers along the banks of the Potomac. Georgetown’s commitment to pedagogy and proximity to the intellectual and cultural resources of the capital created a unique environment that shaped a generation of policy debaters. The opportunity to revisit that legacy both excites and humbles us.
As the 2012 National Debate Champions we are pleased to be able to have the opportunity to share our experience, philosophy and our campus with high school debaters. Our coaching staff and students are committed to ensuring a quality experience for all our attendees and we would like to share with you some of the reasons why we think our program will help you grow.
The strength of our institute is our staff. Our teaching staff consists of coaches whose teams have won the National Debate Tournament, The Tournament of Champions, The CEDA National Tournament, the NDCA tournament, the NFL tournament and virtually every other major college and high school tournament in the nation. During the institute our staff are committed to providing the best possible educational environment.
For policy debaters there may be no better place to be than in Washington DC. Our proximity to the Capitol give our students access to opportunities no other debate camps can provide. In the summer of 2012 many of our students had the opportunity to be present at the Supreme Court for the announcement of the health care decision. And although we cannot guarantee that events like that happen every summer, we are committed every year to having experts on the topic visit the camp and give our students insight into how policy making works.
The Georgetown campus and neighborhood in addition to being vital and amazing are very safe areas. All public areas of campus are well lit and routinely patrolled by campus police. The dormitories are staffed 24/7 with security personnel and all visitors must check in with the front desk. All exterior doors to the dorm are locked at all times and students must swipe their Georgetown id card to access the building. The safety and security of our students is our top priority.
If you attend, you’ll receive the following, in addition to the quality guest lectures and daily high quality instruction:
When you arrive, you’ll receive at least two hundred pages of fully briefed original topic research. This starter set will not supplant your research efforts, but will enable us to begin practice debates immediately. Your first debate will occur within 72 hours of your arrival.
You will participate in at least ten critiqued debates before you depart. You will receive a minimum of one page of written feedback on each of these debates. Each student will have a google document created on their behalf to centralize the comments from the practice debates and this document will be shared with coaches.
2. SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Each debater will participate in a minimum of six one-hour skill sessions. These sessions will include rebuttal redos, and “speech editing,” in which we record a speech, transcribe it, then work one on one on the transcript in order to construct a power speech.
3. TRANSPARENCY AND COLLABORATION
Too often, debate institutes are a black box. Coaches and debaters see what goes in – they see what comes out – but the rest of the process is utterly opaque.
Our day by day schedule will be posted for your inspection PRIOR to the institute’s beginning, so that students and coaches can provide us feedback before the learning even starts.
A wiki will detail argument development as it occurs.
Coaches and other interested parties will have access to the camp dropbox, so they can track the argumentative development process. At the end of the session, each coach will receive a single page detailing their student’s progress throughout the institute. If you have criticisms or your own suggestions, tell us – we will consider them and respond promptly to your requests. At Georgetown, you are a stakeholder.
You will do it. We will do it. We do not view our skills emphasis as a tradeoff with hard work.
We don’t intend to produce a comprehensive brief set for the entire year. That model’s obsolete. However, we intend to produce enough good evidence that a debater could win a season opener employing our evidence set.