What is MSPDP?

Author: Debate_Guru | Last modified: July 3, 2018, 11:22 p.m.
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MSPDP- Middle School Public Debate Program.

Definition: A national debate program for students in grades 6-8 available to both public and private schools across the country.


The Middle School Public Debate Program was founded not too long ago by John Meany and Kate Shuster as a program of the Claremont McKenna College. As it states on it's official website:

"(MSPDP) is the world's largest program for class and contest debating in the middle grades. Designed to teach public speaking, critical thinking, listening, and debating to students in the middle grades, the MSPDP works with teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community members to form sustainable debating leagues and classroom oral literacy initiatives."

There are over 140 middle schools that are members of the MSPDP, and a total of 13 leagues. Each league has about five to seven schools in it, each one with about 6-7 teams. Teams are composed of 3 people, therefore giving maximum opportunity for participation in debate.

The MSPDP uses parent and debate coach volunteer judges for their tournaments, and are always looking to train more judges. Judges need no prior experience to their training session and can master the concept easily and quickly.

Every debate tournament is on a Saturday, and they last from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening. They are all-day events. Each tournament has four debate rounds, two rounds, then an hour lunch break, two more rounds, then an awards ceremony for winning debate teams, schools, and individual achievements.

It is a clearly worthwhile program to be a part of, one that not only improves both speaking and debating skills but also creates memorable experiences that will last for a lifetime.

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