Monday, November 30, 2009

Teaching Opportunity for US and Canadian Citizens

IDEA is recruiting for a new debate trainer position in South Korea with the Korea Poly School (KPS). KPS is seeking Canadian or US citizens to teach debate to elementary and/or middle school students for at least one academic year at one of four campuses (Pyeongchon, Ilsan, Mokdong, or Bundang). You can learn more about KPS here.

Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree and be willing to work in Korea for one academic year. The ideal candidate will be comfortable working in an international educational environment and will have some experience doing so. Candidates must be ready to leave for Korea in late February of 2010.

While IDEA is assisting KPS in recruiting trainers, as well as providing technical support to them, the instructors will be KPS employees. IDEA will, however, provide pre-departure orientation as well as teaching and curriculum materials.

The Debate Instructor shall perform the following duties:

1. Plan and conduct debate and argumentation classes in levels assigned by Employer;
2. Conduct a small number of classes in subjects outside of debate with provided teaching materials;
3.Assist with and participate in activities related to the instructional programs of Employer, including, but not limited to, departmental meetings, general faculty meetings, and special presentations and events;
4.Assist Employer in organizing debate clubs at KPS schools;
5.Assist Employer in facilitating KPS debate events
6.Assist Employer with out-of-classroom activities related to the regular curriculum of Employer, including, but not limited to, field trips and school-wide assemblies, as well as other extracurricular activities;
7.Assist with the development of teaching materials, supplementary materials, tests, evaluations, and other programs related to English language teaching;
8.Assist or conduct teacher training in debate for new DIs under the direction of Employer;
9.Assist, monitor, and supervise DIs in their teaching methodology and implementation, and classroom conduct under the direction of Employer;
10.Perform other duties as designated by Employer;

Compensation and Benefits:
1.Free furnished single housing (rent is paid for, but utilities and maintenance fees will be the trainers' responsibilities)
2.Free roundtrip airfare.
3.Contract completion bonus (severance pay) after one year.
4.50% of national health insurance paid for by the school
5.50% of national pension premiums paid for by the school (They will also be eligible to petition for their pension refund from the Korean pension board before departing the country)
6.Monthly Salary - 3.1 million Korean Won (roughly $3,000)

Applications should include a current CV, a cover letter, and the contact information of 2 references. Please send applications to Lin Lu, The application deadline for this position is December 31st, 2009. Selection is dependent on applicant's ability to qualify for Korean-issued work visa.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Croatia holds international debate tournament in December

On Friday December 18th, debaters from Croatia, Romania, Moldova, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Montenegro will gather to compete in an international debate tournament, which will be held in Zagreb, Croatia. The tournament has filled its registration with 24 teams, who will debate in Karl Popper format and discuss the motion, "Multiculturalism is a threat for cultural identity."

The tournament is part of the "Have your say! Young Europeans shape their future!" project of the Academy of Central European Schools (ACES), which is also coordinated by the Intercultural Center from Vienna and UNESCO. As part of this project, the debate tournament has received many donations, and much attention from the media and individual institutions.

As the Croatia Debate Society was present at the 2009 IDEA Youth Forum, IDEA has been warmly invited to experience this exciting tournament. If all goes well, the Croatia Debate Society and ACES hope to make this into an annual event.

Friday, November 20, 2009

IDEA Exchange Grand Opening to be held in the House of Lords

The 2009 IDEA Exchange will commence on Thursday, December 10, 2009 with a grand opening ceremony at the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster at six o'clock in the evening. The ceremony will be hosted by the honorable Lord Norton of Louth and will take place in the magnificent River Room of the palace. All participants of the Exchange are cordially invited to attend. Reservations are to be confirmed with Marcin Zaleski ( no later than November 27th, in order to receive a personal invitation as clearance entry to the House of Lords.

Hosted by IDEA, Debatewise, and Goldsmiths University, the Exchange will take place December 12th-13th, with the IDEA General Assembly on December 11th. This year's event will focus on the theme, "The Web and Social Change." Participants will have the opportunity to explore a variety of topics related to the use of the Internet and digital technologies in order to engage others in the process of communication, debate and dialogue. For more information on this event, visit the Exchange website.

IDEA-BFSU tournament registration ending soon

The annual IDEA-BFSU tournament is quickly approaching, and so is the registration deadline. Register by December 5th to ensure your spot at this exciting event in Beijing, China. The International Debate Education Association and Beijing Foreign Studies University will host this tournament on December 11-13, 2009, at BFSU in the heart of China's capital city.

The event will feature English and Mandarin divisions in a four-team worlds-style parliamentary debate format, as well as a division in International Moot Court. Training sessions will also be provided for judges and debaters before the tournament, through which qualified adjudicators can become accredited trainers. The tournament also offers sightseeing of historic and modern sites of Beijing.

There are no registration fees. Students may enter in teams or as individuals. Each university is limited to two English team entries, but can add an additional English team for each Mandarin team they enter. For more information, contact tournament host Xi Li (, or Robert Trapp ( Click here to register.

The People Speak Global Debates nears deadline to hold debate

The clock is ticking for The People Speak Global Debates! The deadline for teams to complete their public debates is November 30th. The last day to submit those debates, as well as all other activity points, is December 15th. To submit your TPS Global Debates activities, click here.

Remember, the top ten schools (five U.S. and five International) win amazing prizes. The grand prize is a trip to the 2010 IDEA Youth Forum in the Netherlands, and the runner-up teams receive UN Foundation grants of $2,000 each. Not participating yet? Find out more about this event and how your team can take part in the Spring 2010 People Speak Global Debates beginning in March.

National Junior Forensic League Tournament to take place in June

Attention all middle school debate teams! The 2010 National Junior Forensic League tournament will be held June 24th-27th, 2010, in Iowa City, Iowa. Hosted by IDEA in cooperation with the National Forensic League, the NJFL tournament prepares middle school debaters for competition on the national level.

Participants are offered several choices of debate competition styles, such as policy debate, public forum, Lincoln-Douglas, congress legislation, storytelling, or extemporaneous speaking. For more information and details about this event, visit the NJFL website or contact Elizabeth Carson-Garland at

Global Youth Panel reaches goal of 1,000 members

The Global Youth Panel has reached its target goal of 1,000 members. The group consists of 500 panelists, and approximately 100 country coordinators with five panelists each. Debatewise, IDEA, and the British Council have organized this panel to give young debaters an opportunity to voice their opinions on the issues being raised at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen December 7-18, 2009.

During the conference, panelists will go to Debatewise to respond to motions posed by the issues being discussed at the conference. After the conference, the panel will be divided into their respective countries, and will discuss how the decisions made at the conference will impact them. So this December, visit Debatewise to read opinions from youth around the world. For more information on the Global Youth Panel, click here.

IDEA program coordinators provide small business training to youth in Burma

Recently, IDEA program coordinators of Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, Lin Lu and Alisa Keetanitinun, traveled to Yangon, Burma to help out with a small business training series for the interfaith youth group of the Shalom Foundation. Their trainings took place November 6th-10th, 2009, and were part of the Shalom Foundation’s ongoing Interfaith Youth Small Business project, which encourages youth from different faith backgrounds to work together to write, propose, and implement small business plans. The IDEA training sessions taught participants presentation and public speaking skills, as well as financial management advice.

Having already visited the project in Burma in September, Lin and Alisa had already identified the challenges that needed to be met in the November trainings. The IDEA sessions had set specific goals for the participants both prior to and during the trainings. Lin led the first training segment which taught participants how to organize and deliver a presentation in a persuasive and compelling manner. Alisa led the second training in which participants were introduced to financial statements, and then taught how to produce their own income statements and use them to make managerial decisions based on efficiency and profitability. Each training segment was spread out over two days, giving participants the opportunity to meet the goals set for them by IDEA trainers.

Former IDEA trainer shares his inspiring story of debate

Thomas McCloskey, a former IDEA trainer, has always known the powerful effect debate can have in society. But when he joined the Peace Corps, he experienced first-hand how debate can make a difference in more ways than one. He shares his account of debate in a classroom of young Ukrainian students.

The trick was to get them to debate about their pets. I had been teaching English in Ochakiv, a small Ukrainian town for over a month, and none of my 5th graders had said anything more to me than their name and to ask me for the bathroom key--in Russian. When I joined the Peace Corps, they told me that I might run in to this type of stone-walling from students who were not used to dealing with foreigners, with their strange accents and intense desire to discuss things not in the text book. Still, playing "Simon Says" hadn't worked, and neither had me bringing in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (which they hated), and I was getting frustrated. As usual, debate saved the day.

Out of a combination of desperation and exhaustion, I asked Nadia, a blond girl with a blank but alert expression in the front row, if she preferred dogs or cats. Here eyes lit up and she smiled. "I have a dog. He is 'Boomer.' He is two years old, and he is better than any cat in the world" It turned out that debating about animals is a universal passion for 10 year olds, and everyone chimed in. With the ice finally broken, I learned that Dima had a cat named Max who he argued was fiercer than any dog he had ever seen, and that Sasha thought that fish were better because they were easy to feed (he gave his fish bits of vereniki before school). Debate was a hit with my students, so I started teaching them parliamentary debate--in English.

One day towards the end of the year, during a heated debate between Dima and Roddick about whether or not Ukraine should join NATO, the Vice-Director opened the door with alarm, thinking the students had revolted. Yuri politely explained, “Fso normana, mbi havarim!" (Everything's fine, we're speaking!). Students who months before were unable to tell me the time in English were having intense discussions about important political issues that affected their lives.

My students were only a generation removed from living in the Soviet Union. Their parents did not have the right to express their opinions in public much less have debates in which they could express their views honestly. I asked another English teacher in my school about debate in the Soviet Union, and even though there were no KGB officers or recording devices in the walls anymore, she was still reluctant to talk about it. For me, this highlighted the importance of debate and discussion clubs in Eastern European schools. Only by encouraging and teaching debate can people move beyond their fear of open expression. If this begins with the debates about dogs and cats, so be it.

Thomas McCloskey, past IDEA trainer

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mark your calendars for the 2010 International Tournament of Champions

The annual International Tournament of Champions is set to take place on May 21-23, 2010 on the campus of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, US. This year's tournament will gather debaters from around the globe for worlds-style competition, as well as friendship-building activities. The first day of the tournament will feature a debate workshop hosted by IDEA and the Willamette University Debate Union, to which all participants are invited.

Registration for the 2010 ITOC will begin in early 2010. For more information, visit the click here or contact Robert Trapp at

Supporting IDEA never looked so good!

That's right! You can support the International Debate Education Association, and look stylish in the process.

Whenever you purchase IDEA clothing or accessories from the IDEA CafePress online store, you also support IDEA. So, help IDEA achieve its mission, and purchase a cool t-shirt, mug, and more!

Registration for Budva Open 2009 nearing deadline

Hurry! Registration for the Budva Open 2009 ends on November 17th. On November 20-22, 2009, the Logos Center for Creative Communication will be hosting its third annual international debate tournament in Budva, Montenegro. The Budva Open 2009 invites all debaters, coaches and international judges to participate. While guests enjoy their stay in this Mediterranean city, the tournament will also commemorate the Budva Municipality Day celebration.

The tournament will be held in English, and will be debated in Karl Popper and World Schools formats. Both debates will discuss the resolution, "The state should do more on the issue of Roma rights." Participation fees are 30 Euros per person, which include food, accommodation and activities. To register for this event, send team information (names, preferred debate, and arrival time) to

Debate in the Neighborhood update

Last week's issue of the Big IDEA brought you a story about how IDEA's "Debate in the Neighborhood Project" was working to increase dialogue between youth and local police in the Netherlands city of Rotterdam. Here is an update on that event:

On November 9th, local youth in the neighborhood of Crooswijk, Rotterdam met with local police to suggest solutions for the growing tension between them. Doutsen Langhout, the head of Dutch projects in the Netherlands, recently organized a series of meetings with local youth and police force members in Crooswijk to help them resolve issues.

The event attracted a lot of attention, many youths attended, as well as local police and law enforcement officials. Although the discussion was very heated, in the end, both sides clarified their standpoints. The police explained their reasoning behind their actions toward the youth; while on the other hand, the youth expressed how they felt about being labeled and stigmatized. Although no specific action plan was developed, this meeting was a step forward to an understanding and cohabitation between the two groups.

To find out more about "Debate in the Neighborhood," click here, or visit the IDEA-Netherlands website.

Join CAI participant in the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Video Contest

A new competition has arisen in preparation for the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Sponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), "My View: The Asia-Pacific Climate Change Video Contest" is promoting awareness of climate change, stimulating debate, and encouraging climate change solutions in the lead-up to Copenhagen. Over $10,000 worth of prizes are being offered in three categories for the best videos about climate change in Asia and Pacific. This contest will be judged by international film critics and award-winning directors and writers.

Like many other past climate change awareness events, Climate Advocacy Institute participants are continuing their service by entering this competition. The institute, hosted by, Bloomfield College, and IDEA, encouraged participants to stay active in their efforts to fight global climate change. Past CAI participant, Nick Silvestri will be entering his video, "It's Our Future," to the contest. To learn more about this video contest, click here.

Climate Advocacy Institute partners promote the Coal River Mountain Petition

The same organizations who co-hosted the Climate Advocacy Institute, IDEA,, and Bloomfield College, are once again advocating for climate change awareness by spreading the Coal River Mountain Petition. This petition asks the Obama Administration to intervene at Coal River Mountain, where blasting has begun on this Appalachian mountaintop for coal mining purposes. The Coal River Mountain is iconic, because it represents a situation in which wind energy could be harnessed, but instead is being used to pollute the environment.

The petition was brought to light at Bloomfield College's Harvest Festival, and since then, and the Green Hearts movement has been helping to spread the word. So, join IDEA's Climate Advocacy Institute partners in supporting a cause that is at the center of the institute's purpose. Visit to show your support.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Global Debaters: IDEA Challenge deadline fast approaching

On your way to the Global Debates grand prize, don’t miss out on the IDEA Challenge, a special contest this fall 2009. You could win participation fees for your team to attend the 2010 IDEA International Tournament of Champions at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, U.S., plus 500 points toward your Global Debates! Simply submit 2 essays summarizing the best arguments and evidence you gathered for your public debate. Essay #1 argues in favor of the resolution; Essay #2 argues against. Essays are due November 16th. Find out more here.

Macedonia Open 2009 holds seventh annual international debate tournament

The Macedonia Open is an international debate tournament which takes place annually in Skopje, Macedonia. The seventh annual open will be hosted by the Youth Educational Forum from December 18-20, 2009, during which the organization will be celebrating its ten year jubilee.

The Macedonia Open offers an opportunity for guests to experience the culture and social life of the capital city, Skopje and the rich traditions of Macedonia. Held in English, the tournament will be conducted in Karl Popper debate format. The final debate is traditionally held at the Parliament building in Macedonia, where debaters are joined by high profile ambassadors, Parliament members, and other public officials. This year's resolution is "Intellectual Property Rights should be abolished." Last year, the tournament hosted more than 120 participants, from Macedonia, the surrounding countries, and from across Europe.

All interested debaters and coaches should apply no later than November 20th. To register, email either Petar Dimitrov ( or Sanja Stefanovik ( Participation fees of 25 Euros per person cover food and accommodations in Skopje. Visit the Macedonia Open 2009 Facebook page for more information.

IDEA-Netherlands "Debate in the Neighborhood" program increases dialogue with youth

From September-December 2009, several activities focusing on debate have been planned in the Netherlands. All part of the "Debate in the Neighborhood" program organized by IDEA-Netherlands, these activities take place in the cities of Zeeland, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Recently, the program has worked in the community of Tholen to increase youth knowledge in policy-making. In addition, IDEA has worked to increase dialogue between youth and local police in Rotterdam.

On October 30th, Doutsen Langhout, the head of Dutch projects in the Netherlands, gave a training to the local Youth Council on how to organize public debates for youth. Additionally, the council was given instructions and tools, like games and exercises, on how to develop debate and public speaking skills in students. The Youth Council will use this training to organize a Debate Battle competition for eighth graders and a Debate Festival in March for high school students. In March 2010, the Youth Council will also organize shadow elections for the youth on youth policy.

On November 9th, local youth in the neighborhood of Crooswijk, Rotterdam will meet with local police to suggest solutions for the growing tension between them. Doutsen recently organized a series of meetings with local youth and police force members in Crooswijk to help them resolve issues. Tension has been growing between the two groups for some time now. These youth, particularly a group of 16-25 year olds, are referred to as "Hangiongeren, which has a bad connotation that people associate with loitering and criminal mischief. While the youth do admit to committing some crimes, the police use their authority to fine and incarcerate the youth, so as to keep the neighborhood quiet — even in some cases where they would be overlooked in normal circumstances. Thanks to the "Debate in the Neighborhood" program, these two groups have agreed to adress this situation, in a cooperative debate.

Tournament in Minsk joins debaters from far and wide

On October 24th and 25th, debaters gathered from various regions to participate in the recent tournament held in Minsk, Belarus. Participants came from as near as Minsk, and from as far away as Grodno and Baranovichi, and other cities. A team from Yakutsk, Russia traveled 9,000 kilometers, not only to debate, but to also share some of their cultural traditions. At the tournament's opening ceremony, the team prepared a presentation of some of their national traditions, such as the Yakut dance, cultural songs, and their national instrument, the "Hamus."

The tournament itself discussed problematic issues of modern society, as participants discovered new ways of communicating across cultures. The debates were held in the Minsk Gymnasia #7, and discussed the motion, "Genetically modified foods are in the public interest." The finalists included a team from Minsk and another team from Borisov, Bulgaria. In the end, local participants, Kirill Burko and Irina Fedorova, from Minsk won the final debate. However, the enriching cultural exchanges at the tournament gave all debaters a winning experience.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

IDEA Youth Forum opens registration for 2010 trainers, and invites bidders for 2011

This summer, from July 22-August 4th, 2010, IDEA will host 200 young people from over 30 countries at its 16th annual IDEA Youth Forum, this time in the Province of Zeeland. The forum is a team debate event for high-school students which includes three debate competitions, along with a week of debate instruction and social activities!IDEA is looking for 21 trainers, who would be interested in teaching at the forum. Apart from having fun, and gaining hundreds of new friends, being a YF trainer offers the opportunity to develop training skills and employ them in a face-to-face week long debate instruction within an international setting. Download the application, and submit it to the forum director, Veronika ( no later than December 15th.

IDEA would also like to invite organizations to co-host the 2011 Youth Forum. Apart from impacting youth from around the world, hosting the forum provides an opportunity to promote communication, debate and youth involvement among a greater number of people in your organization (debate) network, community, and country. This year's Forum is co-organized by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) and Zeeland's Institute for Social and Cultural Development (Scoop), in cooperation with the municipalities of Middelburg and Vlissingen, the Hogeschool Zeeland and the Roosevelt Academy. For more information, please contact the forum director (

BFSU and IDEA to host international debate tournament next month

The annual IDEA-BFSU tournament is quickly approaching, and so is the registration deadline! Registration ends on December 5th. The tournament will be held on December 11- 13, 2009 at the Beijing Foreign Studies University in the heart of China's capital city. This exciting tournament will feature English and Mandarin divisions in a four-team worlds-style parliamentary debate format, as well as a division of International Moot Court. Training sessions will also be provided for judges and debaters before the tournament, through which qualified adjudicators can become accredited trainers. The tournament also offers site-seeing of historic and modern sites of Beijing.

For more information, contact the tournament host Xi Li ( or Robert Trapp ( Registration is free at IDEA's website. Students do not need to register as a team; they may register as individuals and IDEA will help find partners. The tournament will accept 120 teams. Each university is limited to two team entries, but can add additional English team for each Mandarin team they enter.

Registration now open for the International Debate Budva Open 2009

On November 20-22, 2009, the Logos Center for Creative Communication will be hosting its third annual international debate tournament in Budva, Montenegro. The Budva Open 2009 invites all debaters, coaches and international judges to participate. While guests enjoy their stay in this Mediterranean city, the tournament will also be held to help commemorate the Budva Municipality Day celebration.

The tournament will be held in English, and will be debated in Karl Popper and World Schools formats. Both debates will discuss the resolution, "The state should do more on the issue of Roma rights." Participation fees are 30 euros per person, which include food, acommodation and activities. To register for this event, send team information (names, preferred debate, and arrival time) to Hurry! Registration ends on November 17th.

Monday, November 02, 2009

“Road to Copenhagen” campaign deadline

As part of the “Road to Copenhagen” campaign, Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) and Nepalese Youth for Climate Action (NYCA) are carrying out a “Basecamp to Copenhagen” campaign in which ten youths will trek to Everest Basecamp. This campaign team will carry out awareness to school students and local communities on climate change and its impacts on the Himalayas, in the mountain ecosystems and livelihoods. In addition, this campaign team will collect signatures, make a documentary, and take photographs that relate to climate change issues. The outputs of this trek will be displayed at the COP 15 in Copenhagen this December.

Participants should commit the first week of November to December 12th (Global Day of Action on Climate Change). Those who have a passion for and skills in photography and videography are highly encouraged to apply. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the campaign’s organizers. However, those who would like to fund themselves, fully or partially, are most welcome.

Please send a letter of interest no later than November 4, 2009 to or The letter should highlight your campaigning experiences, skills in youth and climate change, your trekking experiences (optional), your age, gender, education, and available commitment time for the involvement in this campaign.

Paper submission deadline for eLearning Africa conference

The fifth International Conference, ICT, for development, education and training will be hosted by eLearning Africa from May 26-28, 2010 in Lusaka, Zambia. It is the continent's largest annual assembly of e-learning and education professionals from Africa and beyond. The deadline for submitting papers is December 14th.

ELearning Africa continues to build and expand a worldwide network for people involved in all aspects of technology-enhanced education and training in Africa, including management and policy-making. The conference will once again be conducted in English and French.

For more information on the conference and details on paper submissions, visit their website at

IDEA seeks Southeast Asia Program Coordinator

The International Debate Education Association announces an open call for applicants for the position of Southeast Asia Program Coordinator. The position begins in January 2010. The contract period is for six months with a possibility of renewal.

The Program Coordinator for this office will be based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Program Coordinator is supervised by Robert Trapp in the IDEA offices in Salem, Oregon.

  1. Manage a regional debate program.
  2. Manage a Youth Action Fund that gives small grants to youth-driven projects.
  3. Make site visits to establish local infrastructures for programs.
  4. Coordinate debate workshops.
  5. Supervise the development and translation of debate education materials into local languages.
  6. Communicate with other IDEA offices and staff.
  7. Network and establish relationships with local and regional partners.
  8. Assist with additional events when needed.

  1. Must have the legal right to live and work in Thailand.
  2. Must speak and write fluently in Thai.
  3. Must speak and write fluently in English.
  4. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  5. Debate training experience.
  6. Flexibility and willingness to travel on short notice.
  7. Excellent communication skills.
  8. Self-motivation and efficiency.
  9. Willing to be based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Interested parties should send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for at least 3 references to Robert Trapp at, Lin Lu at, and Alisa Keetanitinun at We will begin considering applications on 30 November 2009, and will continue until the position is filled.