A New Speech and Debate Curriculum to Explore

This summer I was invited to be a part of something epic! I love collaborating with like-minded organizations. If you have never heard of DFW Speech and Debate, let me introduce you to James Russell, the director, and the vision for this new, awesome speech and debate curriculum…

What is the curriculum DFW has created?

I’ve been with DFW Speech and Debate for many, many years, and we’ve always produced curriculum. We were always proud of our products, but never stopped dreaming about pushing the envelope forward.

This summer, we decided to dream big. Really big. I enlisted the help of great friends, great coaches, and great videographers to create an unparalleled curriculum for clubs and students. We called it Project Phoenix and poured many hours, long days, and sleepless nights into its creation.

The result was three new curriculums: Foundational Tools for Team Policy, Advanced Tools for Team Policy, and Tools for Speech. Each curriculum has a newly written ebook alongside truly phenomenal video instruction. For a taste of the video quality, check out this teaser:

Although we’re very tired after this monumental project, we are absolutely thrilled with what we’ve made. Club leaders and students, I’d love to borrow a few minutes and explain what we did and why…

  • The debate curriculums have be re-written and re-focused.

Club leaders and students need rigorous, cohesive debate instruction. That became our core focus!

The old generation of team policy curriculum divided instruction between club content and instructional content. Almost half of the curriculum walked club leaders through the weekly flow of club meetings, structure, and other club-centric considerations.

The new team policy curriculums are entirely focused on instructional content, more than doubling the instructional component compared to previous versions. Club leaders who would like access to information about how to run a club can just reach out to us. We’ll provide it for free!

Our policy debate curriculums are focused on conversational-style debate used in leagues such as NCFCA, STOA, or Classical Conversations.

  • The speech curriculum is a cutting-edge approach for speech instruction!

We partnered with Lasting Impact! in creating our new Tools for Speech and we are pumped. Speech curriculum and coaching often focuses on instructing students in individual categories: how to do a persuasive speech, how to do impromptu, how to do a humorous interpretation, etcetera.

Our curriculum focuses on the core principles of public speaking. How do you write a compelling thesis? How do you improve verbal and nonverbal delivery? How do you utilize support for a position?

Students who master core principles of public speaking will be equipped to excel in competition and real life. Students will likely never perform a humorous interpretation after high school, but they will call on the core skills they learned in interpretative speeches. We cut to the chase and teach the core skills up front.

How will these curriculums help club leaders?

This curriculum was built with club leaders in mind. Here’s why:

  • It takes pressure off finding someone to teach.

Club leadership makes annual decisions on who will teach their club. As a club leader for years, I know how stressful this feels. We’ve seen clubs rise and fall as instructors graduate or move on and we know club leaders feel the pressure of finding yet another skilled teacher.

Having video instruction takes the pressure off. Every part of the curriculum is taught on video by our expert instructors. If a club does not have a student or parent fully comfortable in a teaching role, or expertise on a specific speech or debate topic, the videos offer nationally-qualified instructors as an alternative.

But what if a club already has a skilled teacher?

  • It takes pressure off finding time to do everything at club.

Club meetings are jam packed with content. Teachers feel the pressure of finding time for extensive lecturing, questions, and practice. But what if students can access lectures outside of club meetings? Club meetings can prioritize answering questions, clarifying concepts, and practice. Every instructor and every club can vastly benefit from this flexibility.

  • It takes pressure off figuring out instruction during COVID.

COVID-19 has created uncertainty for the upcoming Fall semester. What will club even look like over Zoom, Discord, or similar platforms? Will students stay engaged during lectures? Will the community grow?

Let our curriculum answer at least one of your questions. Our curriculum packages high-level instruction in written and video form and delivers it straight to your student’s homes. Students can listen to and review lectures on their own time. Now, club leaders can focus online meetings on practice, drills, discussion, and other aspects of learning that foster engagement and community.

  • Bottom-line: We made this curriculum for the amazing club leaders who organize and lead their clubs every year.

If a club wants to use our curriculum, we will give each club family a 30% discount on their curriculum purchases. Each curriculum comes with a family-wide license, meaning a family who purchases a curriculum license can share it among any and all of their children.

If this sounds interesting to you, contact us at https://www.dfwspeechdebate.com/contact. We would love to answer your questions. I hope this year is your best year yet!

James Russell