Orchard Debate Team Wins The Hoosier State Debate League Tournament

Ragen Mitchell
The Orchard School is a founding member of the Hoosier State Debate League. The Hoosier State Debate League is the only middle school debate league in the state of Indiana. The league is a member of the Middle School Public Debate Program (MSPDP). The Middle School Public Debate Program is the world’s largest initiative for classroom and contest debating.

Specially designed to meet the needs of students in the middle grades (ages 10-14), it serves more than 40,000 students per year in the United States, across the African continent, and around the world. MSPDP is committed to sound pedagogy, rigorous practice, accessible materials, and meaningful community service. An educational debate outreach initiative of Claremont McKenna College, the MSPDP partners with schools and institutions including the English-Speaking Union and Tulane University to provide world-class debate experiences.

This is the second year Orchard has fielded a debate team. On November 3rd, we participated in the first Hoosier State Debate League tournament. The tournament was held at the Emma Donnan Middle School in Indianapolis. Schools represented were Emma Donnan Middle School, Sycamore School, and The Orchard School. During the tournament, a team consists of three debaters per side during a debate. 
The four debate topics were: 

  • Kneeling during the National Anthem is a desirable form of social protest. 
  • Extraterrestrial intelligence exists.
  • Scooters are good for Indianapolis. 
  • Schools should allow students to have junk food. 
From the three schools, there were 33 debate teams. The Orchard School’s reputation as a place where presentation skills are encouraged paid huge dividends during each debate. Our students’ ability to articulate their arguments in a concise manner carried the day. 
The Orchard Middle School debate team won awards including the 1st Place Tournament Award, 2nd Place Overall, and several individual awards. The next tournament will be February 2, 2019 at Sycamore School. 

Progressive education tenet: Comfort with complex questions that have multiple possible solutions leads to open-minded exploration and sophisticated comprehension.

Submit a Comment


No comments have been posted