World Debate Institute in Burlington, VT

I'm afraid I'm just not able to keep up a daily posting regimen like I thought I would up here in Burlington. Hopefully that ends today.

I am in charge of teaching the teacher's workshop, which has four very enthusiastic and excited participants, and we are making nice strides into the world of teaching and directing debate programs.

I started off yesterday with what I hoped would be a non-threatening and slow entry into the world of argument theory. I covered quite a bit now that I look back on my notes - Burden of proof, presumption, syllogisms, enthymemes, and the Toulmin model. We then discussed note taking, flowing and watched a debate in the World School's format to cap off the afternoon.

Today we'll be reviewing that debate (I used my voice recorder to record it so we could have the "text" at hand for more careful analysis) and perhaps, depending on the amount of questions and interest in talking about the debate, we'll talk about the three major kinds of arguments that one encounters in any format of debate. There are minor types of arguments as well, but that might be for another day.

When I lecture I always find my head filling with books to recommend. This time, instead of just letting them drift off into the atmosphere, I'm trying my best to remember what I've suggested and put it in a bibliography. At the end of the workshop I plan to distribute it to the participants. I might post it here as well.

Well, off to breakfast and then another full day of teaching debate!