Debate and MUN Classes

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Below please find a description of the Westfield Class Offerings for the 2016-2017 Academic Year Program.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.  It is possible that we may add additional classes based on demand so please check back from time to time.

Come see what this unique and special Westfield learning community is all about.  We would love to have you join us!!

DEBATE

Thursday INTRODUCTion to Debate and Public Speaking (1.0 Hr)

This one-hour introductory debate and public speaking class is offered for 8 to 11 year olds (slightly older or younger by instructor consent). Being able to speak competently and calmly in public is a wonderful skill to learn at an early age. The goals of this class are to help the students feel comfortable with public speaking and to teach them the basics of debate. We will begin with games and exercises to introduce the students to public speaking. An emphasis will be placed on getting the children up and speaking frequently. Students will learn the fundamentals of Debate and begin doing in-class debates. We have found that even younger children love debate. The students will learn in a very supportive and respectful environment.

Thursday Intermediate (1.5 hrs)

These classes are offered for 10 to 14 year olds (slightly older or younger by instructor consent). Classes focus on developing and improving general public speaking, oral argumentation and debating skills as well as introducing research strategies. Time is devoted to studying the construction of logical, persuasive arguments. An emphasis is placed on having each student debate frequently. Students may be asked to debate both sides of the same topic to foster a respect and appreciation of the fact that viable arguments can be constructed for both sides of an issue. Debate topics span a wide range, including current events, policy issues and politics. Debaters are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and the ability to use information from, a broad spectrum of disciplines such as economics, current events, history, geopolitics, philosophy and international affairs. These classes are appropriate for beginning as well as experienced students of debate. Classes will be subdivided based on experience.

THursday Advanced/Intermediate (2.5 hrs)

These classes are offered for 12 to 16 year olds (slightly older or younger by instructor consent). Classes focus on improving and refining general public speaking and oral argumentation skills. Time is devoted to developing effective research strategies and studying the construction of logical, persuasive arguments. An emphasis is placed on having each student debate frequently. Students may be asked to debate both sides of the same topic to foster a respect and appreciation of the fact that viable arguments can be constructed for both sides of an issue. Debate topics span a wide range, including current events, policy issues and politics. Debaters are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and the ability to use information from, many disciplines such as economics, current events, history, geopolitics, philosophy and international affairs. These classes are appropriate for beginning as well as experienced students of debate. Classes will be subdivided based on experience.

MONDAY INTERMEDIATE (2.0 HRS)

These classes are offered for 10 to 15 year olds (slightly older or younger by instructor consent). This class is a longer version of Intermediate A with a 2 hour rather than a 1.5 hour class. The extra class time allows for additional time debating. Classes focus on improving and refining general public speaking and oral argumentation skills. Time is devoted to developing effective research strategies and studying the construction of logical, persuasive arguments. An emphasis is placed on having each student debate frequently. Students may be asked to debate both sides of the same topic to foster a respect and appreciation of the fact that viable arguments can be constructed for both sides of an issue. Debate topics span a wide range, including current events, policy issues and politics. Debaters are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and the ability to use information from, many disciplines such as economics, current events, history, geopolitics, philosophy and international affairs. These classes are appropriate for beginning as well as experienced students of debate. Classes will be subdivided based on experience.

Monday Advanced/Intermediate (2.5 Hrs)

This class is designed for 14 to 18 years old (slightly older or younger by instructor consent).  This class consists of two different sections:  an advanced program for experienced high school students that strives to refine and improve the students’ debating and public speaking skills and a more introductory program that focuses on developing and improving general public speaking, oral argumentation and debating skills. These classes, therefore, are appropriate for beginning as well as experienced students of debate. Classes will be subdivided based on experience. All students will practice parliamentary, British parliamentary and policy styles of debating.  We also will focus on current events that are happening around the world. An emphasis is placed on preparing for, and attending, state, regional, national and international competitions although it is not mandatory to compete. A student can choose to take the class and debate in class but not attend competitions. Debaters are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and the ability to use information from, many disciplines such as economics, current events, history, geopolitics, philosophy and international affairs.

Tuesday Intermediate (2.5 HRS)

These classes are offered for 11 to 16 year olds (slightly older or younger by instructor consent). Classes focus on developing and improving general public speaking, oral argumentation and debating skills as well as developing effective research strategies. Time is devoted to studying the construction of logical, persuasive arguments. An emphasis is placed on having each student debate frequently. Students may be asked to debate both sides of the same topic to foster a respect and appreciation of the fact that viable arguments can be constructed for both sides of an issue. Debate topics span a wide range, including current events, policy issues and politics. Debaters are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and the ability to use information from, a broad spectrum of disciplines such as economics, current events, history, geopolitics, philosophy and international affairs. These classes are appropriate for beginning as well as experienced students of debate. Classes will be subdivided based on experience.

Debate COMPETITIONS - intermediate and advanced classes

There will be numerous opportunities to debate other schools during the year. Although these competitions are completely optional, we strongly encourage interested students to participate. Not only do they learn so much from these experiences, but the students also have the opportunity to practice their skills in a more formal setting thus greatly improving their debating and public speaking abilities. In addition, these competitions are social and lots of fun. In our experience, the students who choose to participate find they enjoy these competitions and want to do more of them.

MODEL UNITED NATIONS

Thursday Model United Nations (1.5 hrs)

Model UN (MUN) is designed for students 12 to 18 years old (slightly older or younger by instructor consent), and is a wonderful way to put our students’ speech and debate skills into practice. In addition, students learn the art of diplomacy and negotiation. MUNers study and become familiar with world events, international affairs, politics, geography, and so much more in an environment that emphasizes using these skills and this knowledge in a hands-on way that fosters real learning and understanding. In past years, our students have attended multiple conferences and have been extremely successful – they have taken home many awards between 2014 and 2016 including, among others, the Best Delegate (highest honor) and Outstanding Delegate (the next highest honor) and Best New School at Yale; 4 Honorable Mentions, 3 Most Improved, and 2 Best Delegates at UCONN; 3 Best Delegates, 2 Honorable Mentions, and 1 Most Improved at KO Middle School; 2 Best Delegates and 2 Honorable Mentions at Woodstock; Best Delegate at Trumbull as well as Boston University Academy and 22 awards at the Global Classrooms Middle School and High School Model United Nations conference.

Students in MUN classes learn about MUN and its procedures, and improve and refine these skills. They also learn and get to practice the invaluable skills of compromise and negotiation and how to get a group of different people with disparate goals to reach consensus. Using current world events they conduct lively simulations to prepare for MUN conferences.

Monday Introduction to Model United Nations (1.0 Hr)

(November 7th through December 12th, 2016)

This special short series of classes for students 12 to 18 years old (slightly older or younger by instructor consent) is designed to expose students to Model United Nations. Students will learn about the history of the United Nations and its current role in the world in addition to learning the basics of Model United Nations.  Time will also be devoted to discussing current world events.

MUN COnferences

Students are invited to attend a number of MUN conferences over the course of the year. Participation in the conferences is not mandatory although it is strongly encouraged since conferences give students additional opportunities to put their learning into practice. Conferences also give students the opportunity to meet and work with students from other parts of the country and from all over the world.

Go to ABOUT ANNEX CLASSES