Public Forum Curriculum

At the National Debate Forum we take tremendous pride in our Public Forum Debate division.  NDF has a proven track record of success in Public Forum, providing a unique, focused experience that delivers results.   


NDF is a great institute choice because we attract students who want to be nationally competitive in PF.  Our students are a key part of the institute experience.  The top-notch competitors who come to NDF for Public Forum are a testament to our approach — and a benefit to our camp.

How did we become the #CampThatWins?


NDF prioritizes small group learning

NDF provides a four tiered curriculum to cater to the needs of every debater. Students learn the skills relevant to their style and level and debate, and even returning campers receive a unique, varied experience.  Each level has their own curriculum coordinator that is a trained High School debate coach that collaborate with the overall Camp Curriculum Director.  

Small lab groups are built around skill and experience level. No one is made to feel more or less important than anyone else. Students will work with their lab leaders in group and individual settings to develop they specific skills they need. Every student who attends walks away a better debate.

In addition to small lab groups, lectures are broken down into small groups of no more than 30 students guaranteeing each lecture is specific to students' needs and allows students to interact with the instructor.

NDF prioritizes skill based activities

The students will research, write cases, and develop strategies to debate a potential NSDA Public Forum Debate resolution and compete in a full tournament at the end of the institute. Students will work on case revisions, participate in several practice debates and refine their skills with the best coaches and former debaters in the country. We aim to help students build the confidence they need to stand toe to toe with the best debaters in the county and to provide students with skills that will extend beyond their debate rounds.

Each student leaves the National Debate Forum with at least sixteen full debates.  Additionally, many labs hold mini or extemporaneous debates within small groups.   These debates can range from small subsets of the topic or potential 2019-2020 topic areas.  


NDF prioritizes your needs

We build our staff around your needs.  By hiring the best first year outs in the country and the best teachers in the country, we have your needs covered from coast-to-coast.  Their experiences will help you debate in every circuit in front of every judge.  

In order to meet all of your needs, we offer every student at least four elective classes where students choose their curriculum.  Students can choose from topics such as team building to understanding research to crash courses on International Relations. Our faculty goes out of its way to make you think harder and deeper about how you debate — and how to win your rounds.

How does the #campThatwins accomplish this?

All of our sessions follow the same schedule, with minor tweaks specific to each campus.  But every schedule starts with the same base.

lab time

In 2018, our labs averaged 48 hours together across the two weeks.  The next two largest institutes posted schedules with 29 hours and

During lab times, activities are planned that advance each day's goals and objectives.    

Core Lectures

John Wooden, one of the greatest collegiate basketball coaches of all time, argued that fundamentals were vital to success and helping students rise through the levels of competition.  It is this principle that guides our curriculum in having all students learn and investigate fundamental skills throughout the first week -- from casing to rebuttals to crossfire.  

practice debates

office hours