[eDebate] Prof. Snider has taken a fine step forward in promulgating a policy; some thoughts on eristic dialogue

Art Kyriazis akbiotech
Tue Aug 19 13:52:57 CDT 2008


Dear Friends:

First, it is a very fine step forward that Prof. Snider has taken by 
promulgating a policy at the University of Vermont for debaters.  His 
policy should serve as a model for other debate programs.  As usual, his 
expertise and knowledge are a great beacon to us all.

Second, very early on I believe I noted in writing that it was 
inevitable that Oprah or one of the major news outlets would pick this 
story up, because they have a lot of interns who watch the news, you 
tube and the blog columns to look for interesting items to post on the 
national news.  I am therefore unsurprised at the "viral" growth of the 
shanahan story.

Third, all of you have responded and replied with fantastic aplomb and 
dignity to the situation answering reporters questions, etc. All of you 
are to be applauded, from the distinguished Prof. Wade onwards.  You 
have all been excellent spokespersons for an activity which has been 
taught since the time of the ancient greeks, and which in its modern 
form of policy debate continues to be as vital and important to modern 
pedagogy as rhetoric and oratory were to the education of an ancient 
roman or ancient greek, or the trivium and quadrivium were to a graduate 
of a medieval university.   

Fourth, it's unfortunate in the sense that this was a good media year 
for debate, with the Great Debaters and Resolved coming out.  While I 
agree with Prof. Snider that this is, in a sense, "bad" publicity, there 
may be silver linings yet to be seen from all this.  Certainly the 
discussions and exchanges prompted by this have been among the most 
interesting I've seen on this site in a long, long time.  In the end it 
may lead to some greater good that compensates for the short term 
disruptions.

Fifth, even angry outbursts like those of Prof. Shanahan have been 
analyzed in the literature of rhetoric at length, as "eristic" dialogue, 
and perhaps not enough has been said about the uses of eristic dialogue 
both in ancient and modern times. 

For example, in many cases, in law practice, or in negotiations, 
advocates will purposes lose their temper or attempt to dominate a 
situation by purposely losing their temper, in an attempt to dominate a 
situate and thus gain an advantage in the dialogue.  such "eristic" 
dialogue is also very common in some families, where parents and kids 
may quickly escalate to screaming instead of discussing. 

Perhaps the point we should be discussing is, do we wish to engage in 
eristic dialogue, or in normal dialogue, in the course of policy debate 
and discussion, as a matter of course.

Perelman and others have addressed the issue of eristic dialogue and I 
am far from competent to write on it, but this certainly should be 
addressed.

--art kyriazis

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> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. Media Strategy? (Jay Hawk)
>    2. Re: Stopping the Snowball (Darren Surch)
>    3. Re: Stopping the Snowball (michael hester)
>    4. Intl Debate Academy 2008 News (Alfred Snider)
>    5. Re: the Pittsburgh Post Gazette is a joke (brian rubaie)
>    6. Re: the Pittsburgh Post Gazette is a joke (Darren Surch)
>    7. Re: the Pittsburgh Post Gazette is a joke (Duane Hyland)
>    8. Re: the Pittsburgh Post Gazette is a joke (brian rubaie)
>    9. Re: Stopping the Snowball (Kevin Sanchez)
>   10. posted for Derek Buescher - being proactive with pr and
>       assesment (Peter Campbell)
>   11. Re: Stopping the Snowball (F M)
>   12. Re: Stopping the Snowball (Kevin Sanchez)
>   13. Everything I need to know about Russia...
>       (scottelliott at grandecom.net)
>   14. fox news top video (David Peterson)
>   15. fox news top video (David Peterson)
>   16. Finally some decent press (Joe Koehle)
>   17. Viral still (Alfred Snider)
>   18. Re: Finally some decent press (Richard A. Garner)
>   19. Re: Finally some decent press (Kate Baxter-Kauf)
>   20. Ky. Fellows Debate (Patterson, J W)
>   21. Prevention at Vermont (Alfred Snider)
>   22. KENTUCKY JUNIOR FELLOWS DEBATE (Patterson, J W)
>   23. Re: Finally some decent press (Zompetti, Joseph)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 08:24:33 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Jay Hawk <ostertaglives at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [eDebate] Media Strategy?
> To: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Message-ID: <899388.74522.qm at web46404.mail.sp1.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> For
> an activity that produces so many communications and argument
> professionals, I am surprised that I see no evidence that the activity
> has put together a thoughtful response to this media coverage.  As of
> now, the media has had to roam around looking for people to talk about
> the activity, and many of the people they have found do not know
> anything about the actual debate activity.
>
> Just because people
> have a communciations background does not mean that the activity should
> not consult with alums who actually deal with the media for a living. 
> If the acitvity wants to be taken seriously, it should approach this
> controversy with the seriousness and strategic effort that you would
> find in the private sector.
>
> At a minimum, there should be the following:
>
> 1)
> Press statement from CEDA that can be distributd in resonse to media
> inquiries.  This should include a designated contact person for CEDA
> and references to alumni, coaches, and debaters who are prepared and
> willing to talk to the media.
>
> 2)
> There should be draft explanation/statements made available to member
> schools that can be used to communicate with school administrations
> (these can, of course, be edited to deal with specific situations).
>
> 3)
> There should be talking points made available to all that cover several
> pints, including:  1) Key facts about the debate activity 2) A basic
> factual timeline of what happened 3) The positives associated with
> intercollegiate debate.
>
> 4) Basic preparation for people doing
> interviews.  There is a way to increase the odds that you are quoted
> accurately and in a way that benefits yourself and the activity.  These
> "tricks of the trade" are not learned in COMS programs, unfortunately.
>
> The activity could turn this coverage into
> something positive...but to achieve that it will require a thoughtful
> and coordinated strategy, not an ad hoc effort where everybody wings it
> on their own.  Debate has alums with great relationships with the media
> and experience doing just these things---you should take advantage of
> those assets.
>
>
>
>       
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 13:52:12 -0400
> From: "Darren Surch" <darren.surch at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [eDebate] Stopping the Snowball
> To: "Anjali Vats" <anj36 at hotmail.com>
> Cc: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Message-ID:
> 	<cafd695e0808151052k75b24569t70eaeac64fef56bb at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> Damage control:
>
> Save the rest of the programs and ban the folks involved from CEDA
> sanctioned tournaments for 2 years, sending a message that this is
> unacceptable and not a usual thing.  At least you show your administration
> that the activity does not tolerate this sort of thing.
>
> On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 11:29 PM, Anjali Vats <anj36 at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>   
>> I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but as someone that is trying very hard,
>> on a high school and college level, to start new programs, fight against
>> budget cuts, and generate positive publicity for this activity in a state
>> that already has a number of very serious barriers to creating successful
>> debate programs, I don't really want to contemplate how much harder my job,
>> and the jobs of administrators everywhere, have gotten.  It is not
>> furthering any cause, even that of combating racism in the activity, to
>> bring negative attention to the community.  Instead, it's placing coaches
>> in a position, as several people have already observed, where they must
>> explain to parents of high school students and college administrators why
>> this is a worthwhile activity.  And, for those of you that have coached
>> high school students, it goes without saying that attracting and retaining
>> students is difficult, and getting more difficult, given the dramatic drop
>> in the  number of existing programs in many states and the not so awesome
>> economy.  It doesn't help that the norms of college debate simply don't
>> translate to a high school level and ignoring the impact of our actions
>> hurts the ability of coaches to recruit high school debaters, draw students
>> to at the debate camps that fund our much-loved college teams, and present
>> this activity in a positive light.  Whether you agree or disagree with
>> their decisions, the fact of the matter is that parents don't want to send
>> their students to camps with professors and college kids that engage in bad
>> behavior and can't be positive role models.
>>
>> I think it's important to recognize that this isn't just a one-time,
>> limited issue and it's not just about "misunderstandings" or "clearing up"
>> misperceptions about one incident.  Bad publicity is unfortunately often
>> endemic to this activity, albeit on a smaller scale, and it threatens the
>> funding of more than just one school.  In my opinion, it's very important
>> that the debate community as a whole consider its conduct and the manner in
>> which the activity is being portrayed to the outside world (that's not to
>> suggest that it is just the publicity surrounding the conduct, and not the
>> conduct itself that is problematic in many instances).  Public exposure is
>> something very new to this activity and while there have been many positive
>> uses of that new publicity, it's important to remain conscious of how we
>> act.  And of course, in typical media fashion, it's most likely that those
>> individuals that engage in outrageous or illegal behavior, as Scott so aptly
>> pointed out, or fall outside the norms even for debate will end up on video.
>>
>> Debate is an activity that is fairly unique in the sense that many young
>> students are permitted to voice their opinions and hold positions of extreme
>> responsibility.  It's even more unique in that young students and coaches
>> are permitted to speak to the media about important issues.  Some of those
>> students may not be ready for that responsibility.  I'm not professing to
>> judge who is and is not acting appropriately but I do suggest that if you
>> haven't thought out the implications of your actions on others in the
>> activity and the community as a whole, that you not act as a spokesperson
>> for the activity.  I would also note that many organizations regulate who
>> is and is not permitted to interact with the media generally, a practice
>> that I'm willing to bet, few teams follow.  The bottom line is we really
>> don't need images of chain smokers, professors yelling at each other in an
>> undignified manner, students posting videos that may or may not be
>> appropriate for public forums, and countless other less than savory sides of
>> our community eclipsing the benefits of this activity.  The jobs of
>> directors are already difficult enough as Paul, David, Jim, Ed, and several
>> others have already pointed out.
>>
>> There are doubtlessly some people who find the YouTube video funny,
>> probably others who think airing their grievances in a very public forum is
>> necessary to advance their cause, and some who disagree that considering the
>> impact of their actions on administrations or the community at large is
>> important at all.  All I can say is negative publicity threatens the
>> entire debate community.  So, if you're going to talk about driving on less
>> than enough sleep or take your pants off, think about the message that you
>> are sending to the world and recognize that if there's a camera around, in
>> that moment, you are speaking for the entire debate community and not just
>> yourself.
>>
>> - anjali
>>
>> ------------------------------
>> Get more from your digital life. Find out how.<http://www.windowslive.com/default.html?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_Home2_082008>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> eDebate mailing list
>> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
>> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>>
>>     
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 14:15:43 -0400
> From: "michael hester" <uwgdebate at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [eDebate] Stopping the Snowball
> To: "Darren Surch" <darren.surch at gmail.com>
> Cc: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Message-ID:
> 	<2e0f7ba70808151115n161b2832g81c764ad12df91c8 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> <if i was more computer-savvy, and could find the icon for a mooning smiley
> face, i would be clicking it profusely right now>
>
>
> hester
>
> On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 1:52 PM, Darren Surch <darren.surch at gmail.com>wrote:
>
>   
>> Damage control:
>>
>> Save the rest of the programs and ban the folks involved from CEDA
>> sanctioned tournaments for 2 years, sending a message that this is
>> unacceptable and not a usual thing.  At least you show your administration
>> that the activity does not tolerate this sort of thing.
>>
>> On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 11:29 PM, Anjali Vats <anj36 at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>     
>>> I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but as someone that is trying very
>>> hard, on a high school and college level, to start new programs, fight
>>> against budget cuts, and generate positive publicity for this activity in a
>>> state that already has a number of very serious barriers to creating
>>> successful debate programs, I don't really want to contemplate how much
>>> harder my job, and the jobs of administrators everywhere, have gotten.  It
>>> is not furthering any cause, even that of combating racism in the activity,
>>> to bring negative attention to the community.  Instead, it's placing
>>> coaches in a position, as several people have already observed, where they
>>> must explain to parents of high school students and college administrators
>>> why this is a worthwhile activity.  And, for those of you that have
>>> coached high school students, it goes without saying that attracting and
>>> retaining students is difficult, and getting more difficult, given the
>>> dramatic drop in the  number of existing programs in many states and the
>>> not so awesome economy.  It doesn't help that the norms of college debate
>>> simply don't translate to a high school level and ignoring the impact of our
>>> actions hurts the ability of coaches to recruit high school debaters, draw
>>> students to at the debate camps that fund our much-loved college teams, and
>>> present this activity in a positive light.  Whether you agree or disagree
>>> with their decisions, the fact of the matter is that parents don't want to
>>> send their students to camps with professors and college kids that engage in
>>> bad behavior and can't be positive role models.
>>>
>>> I think it's important to recognize that this isn't just a one-time,
>>> limited issue and it's not just about "misunderstandings" or "clearing up"
>>> misperceptions about one incident.  Bad publicity is unfortunately often
>>> endemic to this activity, albeit on a smaller scale, and it threatens the
>>> funding of more than just one school.  In my opinion, it's very important
>>> that the debate community as a whole consider its conduct and the manner in
>>> which the activity is being portrayed to the outside world (that's not to
>>> suggest that it is just the publicity surrounding the conduct, and not the
>>> conduct itself that is problematic in many instances).  Public exposure
>>> is something very new to this activity and while there have been many
>>> positive uses of that new publicity, it's important to remain conscious of
>>> how we act.  And of course, in typical media fashion, it's most likely
>>> that those individuals that engage in outrageous or illegal behavior, as
>>> Scott so aptly pointed out, or fall outside the norms even for debate will
>>> end up on video.
>>> Debate is an activity that is fairly unique in the sense that many young
>>> students are permitted to voice their opinions and hold positions of extreme
>>> responsibility.  It's even more unique in that young students and coaches
>>> are permitted to speak to the media about important issues.  Some of
>>> those students may not be ready for that responsibility.  I'm not
>>> professing to judge who is and is not acting appropriately but I do suggest
>>> that if you haven't thought out the implications of your actions on others
>>> in the activity and the community as a whole, that you not act as a
>>> spokesperson for the activity.  I would also note that many organizations
>>> regulate who is and is not permitted to interact with the media generally, a
>>> practice that I'm willing to bet, few teams follow.  The bottom line is
>>> we really don't need images of chain smokers, professors yelling at each
>>> other in an undignified manner, students posting videos that may or may not
>>> be appropriate for public forums, and countless other less than savory sides
>>> of our community eclipsing the benefits of this activity.  The jobs of
>>> directors are already difficult enough as Paul, David, Jim, Ed, and several
>>> others have already pointed out.
>>>
>>> There are doubtlessly some people who find the YouTube video funny,
>>> probably others who think airing their grievances in a very public forum is
>>> necessary to advance their cause, and some who disagree that considering the
>>> impact of their actions on administrations or the community at large is
>>> important at all.  All I can say is negative publicity threatens the
>>> entire debate community.  So, if you're going to talk about driving on less
>>> than enough sleep or take your pants off, think about the message that you
>>> are sending to the world and recognize that if there's a camera around, in
>>> that moment, you are speaking for the entire debate community and not just
>>> yourself.
>>>
>>> - anjali
>>>
>>> ------------------------------
>>> Get more from your digital life. Find out how.<http://www.windowslive.com/default.html?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_Home2_082008>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> eDebate mailing list
>>> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
>>> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>>>
>>>       
>> _______________________________________________
>> eDebate mailing list
>> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
>> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>>
>>     
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 14:46:38 -0400
> From: Alfred Snider <alfred.snider at uvm.edu>
> Subject: [eDebate] Intl Debate Academy 2008 News
> To: edebate at ndtceda.com
> Message-ID: <48A5CF0E.5070208 at uvm.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
>
> The International Debate Academy Slovenia is the premier program for 
> learning the WUDC/British Parliamentary debate format.
>
> November 23-30 2008
> Training program - Ormoz
> Tournament - Law Faculty, Maribor
>
> Website http://debate.uvm.edu/idas.html
> Blogsite for News http://internationaldebateacademy.blogspot.com/
>
> Here are some recent announcements:
>
>     * SCHOLARSHIPS
>     * SCHEDULE
>     * ELECTIVE CHOICES
>
>
>     * SCHOLARSHIP FORM:
>
> The form to apply for a scholarship to attend the 2008 International 
> Debate Academy is now available.
> You can get it at http://debate.uvm.edu/idas08scholform.doc
> Scholarship applications must be sent to Bojana Skrt at 
> bojana.skrt at siol.net by October 1 2008. Scholarship awards will be 
> announced on October 10 2008.
>
>     * SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED:
>
>
> SIXTH INTERNATIONAL DEBATE ACADEMY SLOVENIA
> NOVEMBER 2008
>
> SUNDAY NOVEMBER 23 2008
> Arrival Day
>
> 1900 Dinner
>
> 20.00 Opening Session
> Introductions
> Introduction to the format
> Exhibition debate
> Discussion of exhibition debate
> Students take assessment test for group assignments
> Socialize and find a debate partner
>
> MONDAY NOVEMBER 24 2008
> 730-845 Breakfast
> 845 Morning announcements
> 900 Lecture
> Advanced: Critiques
> Intermediate: Case development
> Beginner: Public speaking
> 1015-1130 Exercises
> 1130 Announcement of motion
> 1200 Practice debate
> 1330 Lunch
> 1500 Elective 1
> 1600 Elective 2
> 1700 Announcement of motion
> 1730 Practice debate
> 1900 Dinner
> Evening ? Country Exhibition
>
> TUESDAY NOVEMBER 25 2007
> 730-845 Breakfast
> 845 Morning announcements
> 900 Lecture
> Advanced: Clash
> Intermediate: Argument & content development
> Beginner: Role of the speakers, case structure, note taking
> 1015-1130 Exercises
> 1130 Announcement of motion
> 1200 Practice debate
> 1330 Lunch
> 1500 Elective 1
> 1600 Elective 2
> 1700 Announcement of motion
> 1730 Practice debate
> 1900 Dinner
> Evening ? Open
>
> WENSDAY NOVEMBER 26 2008
> 730-845 Breakfast
> 845 Morning announcements
> 900 Lecture
> Advanced:How to win debate from the first proposition
> Intermediate: Extension
> Beginner: Proposition strategies
> 1015-1130 Exercises
> 1130 Announcement of motion
> 1200 Practice debate
> 1330 Lunch
> FREE TIME
> 1700 Announcement of the motion
> 1730 Practice debate
> 1900 Dinner
> 20.00 Elective 1
> 21.00 Elective 2
>
>
> THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27 2008
> 730-845 Breakfast
> 845 Morning announcements
> 900 Lecture
> Advanced: Framing
> Intermediate: Whip speeches
> Beginner: Opposition strategies
> 1015-1130 Exercises
> 1130 Announcement of motion
> 1200 Practice debate
> 1330 Lunch
> 1500 Elective 1
> 1600 Elective 2
> 1730 Practice debate
> 1900 Dinner
> Evening ? Open
>
> FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28 2008
> 730-845 Breakfast
> 845 Morning announcements
> 900 Lecture
> Advanced: Style
> Intermediate: Advanced opposition strategies
> Beginner: Case development
> 1015-1130 Exercises
> 1130 Announcement of motion
> 1200 Practice debate
> 1330 Lunch
> 1430 Board the bus
> 1500 Bus to Maribor leave
> 1600 Check into Maribor dorms
> 1630 Leave dorm, walk as a group to the tournament ? Faculty of law
> 1700 Opening Assembly
> 1800 Round 1
> Dinner at the tournament venue
> 2000 Round 2
>
> SATURDAY NOVEMBER 29 2008
> 730-830 Breakfast
> 900 Round 3
> 1130 Round 4
> 1300 Lunch
> 1430 Round 5
> 1630 Round 6
> 1900 Dinner & Break announcement
> Break Party
>
> SUNDAY NOVEMBER 30 2008
> 730-830 Breakfast
> 900 Announcement of pairings and motion
> Semifinals
> 1100 Final Round
> Closing Ceremonies
> Departure
>
>     * ELECTIVE CHOICES ANNOUNCED
>
>
> For a number of years now at the International Debate Academy we have 
> offered a series of "electives." We have time slots in the schedule 
> where we offer 4-5 different topics at once and students choose the 
> presentations they would like to go and learn from. We offer a broad 
> swath of subjects and ask the attendees when they arrive which ones they 
> like the best. We tally the votes and then create a schedule of electives.
>
> Here is the preliminary list for this year.
>
> ELECTIVE CHOICES
>
> -Evidence
> -Counter proposals
> -Religious based law- a short introduction into Sharia, Jewish and Canon law
> -EU 101
> -International law-brief introduction
> -Right of self detremination
> -Basis of criminal law- on international level
> -UN 101
> -NATO 101
> -Rhetoric & style
> -Identifying clash
> -Zen debating - knifing without the knife
> -Debating rights
> -Advocating Marxism
> -Economics, aka how to win debates on economics against economists, by 
> an economics grad.
> -Politics, aka how to win debates on political theory against politics 
> students, by a politics postgrad.
> -Philosophy, aka how to beat utilitarians in debate, by a philosophy 
> postgrad.
> -Law, aka how to beat lawyers in debates about law, by a man who hates 
> lawyers.
> -Extensions; how to speak brilliantly as the third speaker in British 
> Parliamentary debates.
> -Samurai debate
> -Classical rhetorical theory
> -Advanced opposition strategy
> -Debating internationally as an English Foreign Language speaker
> -Public, Radio, TV debates
> -Preparation before the tournament, preparation at the tournament
> -Motion Analysis-Tips on how to interpret debate motions and find the 
> core issues of debate.
> -BP Adjudication-An overview of how to make fair decisions in BP debates 
> as a BP adjudicator.
> -Saving a Bad Upper House Debate- What to do when your Upper House teams 
> are not doing what they are supposed to do? Tips on how to win the 
> debate at the Lower House when the people upstairs are under-performing.
> -Strategic POIings-Tips on how to make the most of the POIs as an 
> "offerer" or a receiver.
> -Debating in Asia-An overview account of how debating is conducted in Asia.
> -Extra Practice for BP Beginners (Combination of Elective 1 and 2 
> Sessions together) For beginners of BP debating who want an extra 
> session of practice during the IDAS 2008.
> -MINE IS BIGGER THAN YOURS-An explanation and evaluation of various 
> measures by which you can show that your arguments are more important 
> than theirs. Useful later in the debate and especially in the whip 
> speech. In a debate where both sides are winning some issues, you need 
> to show that yours come first.
> -POINTS OF INFORMATION FOR MEANIES-Get the down and dirty about how to 
> ask mean points and give mean answers. Learn how to take their points 
> and make them count towards your victory. Not for the squeamish. Use 
> some of these with care. Optional funny lines will also be provided.
> -REVIEWING EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE ABOUT SPEAKING STYLE-This presentation 
> will inspect experimental findings about which speaking styles and 
> mannerisms are most persuasive to audiences. While the research is not 
> based in debate, it has been replicated and confirmed to be the actual 
> situation in real life. Learn how to avoid powerless language, learn 
> which hand gestures to avoid, learn which posture is most persuasive and 
> a lot more. This presentation will not cover the use of aroma.
>
> Coach/Trainers Elective Sessions
> -Debate formats
> -Drills and games to teach debate
> -Curriculum development
> -Creating lesson plans, creating workshop
> -Training program model
> -Adjudication
> -Team based research strategy
> -Basic coaching tips
> -Team building
> -Organising and running debate club
> -Creating and coordinating the network of debate clubs
> -Fundraising for debate
> -Organising debate tournament
> -Organising public debate
> -Promotion of debate activities
>
>   
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