Discourse begins each day at 10:00 AM and finishes at 5:00 PM. There is a break from 12:00-1:00 PM for lunch.
Discourse will focus on three foundational components: argumentation, content, and delivery. The camp will integrate seminars, individual and group exercises, and practice debates in multiple styles to develop and strengthen skills. Please see below for the daily schedule.
Students begin the week by learning strategies to construct an effective case. This includes techniques to define a resolution, how to establish what each side has to prove in debate (a concept referred to as the burden of proof), the role of models and counter-models in debate, and how to ensure arguments in a case work together. Students will spend the afternoon preparing for and participating in a debate in British Parliamentary (BP) or Canadian National Debate Format (CNDF) after which they will receive detailed feedback. They will end the day by learning about impromptu debate strategies.
Tuesday morning begins with a discussion of topical issues in Canadian politics. The remainder of the morning will be spent learning about how to develop effective arguments in debate. Students are taught the assertion-reasoning-evidence and premises-conclusion methods of argument construction. They will spend the afternoon preparing for and participating in a BP or CNDF round. The day ends with a discussion on delivery techniques.
Students will learn about topical issues in American politics on Wednesday morning followed by strategies on effectively refuting and reconstructing arguments. In the afternoon, students will participate in an impromptu BP or CNDF round followed by detailed feedback. The day ends with a discussion of research methods for prepared debates and students will be assigned a resolution for a prepared debate on Thursday.
The first half of Thursday morning will be spent discussing a selection of topical Canadian social issues. The second half of the morning will be devoted to discussing foundational concepts and topical issues in international affairs. In the afternoon, students will first learn about how to enhance their physical presence during delivery and will then participate in an impromptu debate BP or CNDF round followed by detailed feedback. The day ends with instruction on case construction tailored to the students based on their debate performance in the preceding days.
The final day of Discourse begins with a discussion of topical issues in economics and finance. Students then receive additional instruction on refutation and reconstruction based on their debate performance over the past few days. In the afternoon, students will learn on how to craft content in a prepared debate to appeal to their audience and will participate in a prepared BP or CNDF round. The day ends with a general Q&A session on the concepts and issues discussed during the week.
Please note that while all content above will be covered at the camp, the schedule and format is subject to change.