Special Programs for Advanced Debate Campers

registered campers only

Admission to this program is by application

Application for this Program is first come, first served

CASE BY CASE BASIS UNTIL CLASS IS FULL


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

This summer, Westfield will be offering two exciting opportunities for students looking to bring the art of college debate into their high school rounds! We will continue our wildly popular and successful Advanced Debate Program.  We are also very excited to announce a new program --‘Transition to APDA Debating’ -- which is exclusively for highly experienced and older high school debaters and those entering college who are looking to transition to collegiate debating.  This will be offered the first week of camp only. Traditionally, the Advanced Debate Program has also only been run the first week. We have been receiving a lot of requests to extend it to all three weeks.  We listened! If there is sufficient interest, we are happy to announce that the Advanced Debate Program will run the second and third weeks of camp as well. Each week will stand alone. Therefore, qualified students may apply for one, two or all three weeks.  

Both of these are rare and exciting opportunities!

I) ‘Transition to APDA Debating’ - Week 1

(June 17-21)

Westfield Academy is extremely excited to announce that Adam Krok from Yale University will be joining us for the first week of Westfield’s Summer Camp to teach a wonderful new program for our most experienced older debaters who are ready to be challenged on a collegiate level.  This program, ‘Transition to APDA debating,’ is exclusively for rising juniors, seniors and college freshmen who are already very experienced and accomplished debaters. The American Parliamentary Debate Association --APDA -- is the oldest intercollegiate debating association in the United States. Adam hails from South Africa and is a Yale senior studying Ethics, Politics and Economics. He specializes in Financial Economics, Economics of Inequality and the study of Revolutions particularly the 1789 French revolution and 1918 Soviet revolution. Adam has been an extremely successful member of the Yale Debate team from 2015-2019.

This is a very exciting opportunity for highly experienced debaters who want to really focus on bringing their skills and knowledge base to the collegiate level. It will bridge the gap between high school debate and the more advanced fare of college-level competition. This program will run the first week of camp only.

This group will meet with Adam five days of the week for at least six hours a day.  The program will focus on APDA case writing and developing the skills and techniques necessary to successfully debate in APDA.  Adam will teach the principles of economics, politics and ethics --his areas of expertise-- most essential to successful collegiate debating, as outlined below. The crux of this program will be debating and being critiqued by Adam.  Students will also have the opportunity to serve on a judging panel with him and compare their comments to Adam's - a unique and powerful opportunity. The week will culminate in an in-house tournament with cases written by the students similar to how APDA runs.

Topics will include some or all of the following

Economics:  Derivatives, credit/debit, European Union economic history, Greek debt crisis, Austerity vs Keynesianism, liberalism, laissez-faire, competitive advantage, supply and demand, communism and socialism, monopolies and oligopolies, import/export and current account balances.

Politics:  International political dynamics, left/right split, representative democracy and its alternatives, illiberal democracies, dictatorships, violence and non-violence, resource curse, just war theory.

Law:  International human rights law, R2P (responsibility to protect), comparative constitutional law with emphasis on American and South African constitutions, United Nations, International Criminal Court, Rebellious Lawyering and social justice key figures of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Henry David Thoreau.

Ethical Philosophy:  Virtue ethics, utilitarian and deontological thought, meta-ethics of GE Moore and W.D. Ross, moral obligations.

II) Advanced Debate Camp - Weeks 1, 2 and 3

(June 17-July 5th)

Westfield Academy is also extremely excited to announce that Evan Streams from Columbia University will be joining us for the first week of Westfield’s Summer Camp to teach an Advanced Debate Camp for experienced high school debaters who want to really focus on bringing their skills to the next level. They will learn about topics usually not seen until college, through small group seminars.  Students will learn debate strategies that pair well with their newfound knowledge. Emphasis will be placed on using these strategies and knowledge in debates and drills. This program will be appropriate for experienced high school debaters. Campers leaving this program will see a marked increase in their debating and analytical skills and knowledge base.  Debaters who attended Westfield's Advanced Debate program last summer went on to win a number of debate tournaments this year including: the Yale Invitational, the Vassar Invitational and Yale Osterweis and to be Grand Finalists at the McGill Invitational. Experienced rising 9th graders will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Evan first got involved in debate in 2006 and has been coaching for 8 years. In that time, his students have won more than a hundred awards in multiple leagues and styles, including most recently qualifying for the Tournament of Champions and the NSDA National Championship. Evan was the Director of the National High School Debate League of China from 2014 to 2016, China’s largest English-language debate league, bringing together thousands of students from more than 300 schools in 20 provinces.  He was Connecticut's state champion and has won awards in parliamentary, extemporaneous, and policy debate. Evan is currently the Head Debate Coach at the Dalton School and has led programs for multiple years at the Dartmouth Debate Institute.

This group will meet with Evan five days of the week for at least four hours a day.  The program will focus on advanced topics in oratory and argumentation. Special emphasis will be placed on applying the knowledge and theoretical tools learned in class to hypothetical rounds which will be critiqued by Evan and their other classmates.  Students will also have the opportunity to serve with Evan on a judging panel and compare their comments with Evan’s – a unique and powerful opportunity. The week will culminate in a highly-anticipated in-house debate tournament.

For Weeks Two and Three, Adam Krok from Yale University will teach the Advanced Debate Program.  For more information about Adam, please read under the description of the Transition to APDA program above.

Topics will include some or all of the following

Evan's goal is to teach what debaters need to know about each of these subjects:

Moral Philosophy: The major schools of normative ethics, their detractors, and how to undermine any moral philosophy when your opponents use it in debate.

Critical Thinking: Common cases of statistical illiteracy, how to spot deceptive statistics, and logical errors at the heart of many debates.

Game Theory: Coordination and collective action problems, the Prisoner's Dilemma and the tragedy of the commons, signaling, and the upsides of being irrational.

Existence and Eschatology: The philosophy of danger and doom, including the Great Filter, the Fermi Paradox, and existential risk.

History and Historiography: We will attempt the classic historical questions like when war is successful and why democracies die, and learn how to better argue your preferred historical theory in a debate round.

Advanced Debate Camp - Weeks 1, 2, and 3

TUITION FEE

There will be an additional $125 tuition charge for participation in this weekly program. This tuition is to be paid only upon acceptance to the program. **

Application

Interested campers* must submit a statement explaining:

  1. Your interest in the class,

  2. What topics you are especially eager to explore, and why.

  3. Outline your debate experience including competitions attended and awards won.

* Note, campers who attended David’s Advanced Competitive Skills Program last summer need only submit a brief statement explaining why they would like to work with Evan and update the competitions they attended this year and awards won.

Transition to APDA Debating - Week 1

TUITION FEE

There will be an additional $125 tuition charge for participation in this weekly program. This tuition is to be paid only upon acceptance to the program. **

Application

Interested campers* must submit a statement explaining:

  1. Your interest in the class,

  2. Whether you are planning on applying for the Westfield 2019-2020 IPPF team.

  3. Outline your debate experience including competitions attended and awards won.

* Note, campers who attended David’s Advanced Competitive Skills Program last summer need only update the competitions they attended this year and awards won. 

APPLICATION DECISIONS

** Decisions on applications will be made by June 2nd.  Applications received after that date will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The applicant will be notified by email upon acceptance and must pay the tuition fee at that time.