Spotlight on 2014 Elementary MMUN
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What is Model United Nations?
Model United Nations is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and other multilateral bodies. In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization’s agenda. While playing their roles as ambassadors, student “delegates” make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the Model UN conference rules of procedure – all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world. Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in a Model UN simulation, students research the issue that their committee will address. Model UN participants learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development and globalization. Model UN delegates also look closely at the needs, goals and foreign policies of the countries they will represent at the event. The insights they gain from their exploration of history, geography, culture, economics and science contribute to the authenticity of the simulation when the role-playing gets under way. The delegates’ in-depth knowledge of their countries guarantees a lively and memorable experience.
The Montessori Program
Montessori supported the work of the League of Nations and its successor the United Nations as a forum where peace could be created. She recognized the hope for peace lay in the education of children. The Model United Nations program was developed for students in high school and university to learn about the work of the UN by doing it, as well as learning important life skills. The Montessori Initiative and The Magazine for Montessori Families have partnered with the United Nations to create a Montessori Model United Nations so that students at the sensitive period for reason, justice and morality can participate in a life changing experience. The Montessori Model United Nations program culminates classroom or after school study with a two day global education simulation experience at the United Nations. This enables students in upper elementary and middle school to learn about the operations of the United Nations and its role as the world’s largest international peacekeeping and humanitarian organization. In addition, like the high school and university Model United Nations Programs, MMUN provides students from 9-15 years of age an opportunity to:
- Learn about cultures, governments and peoples of nations throughout the world.
- Use research skills, writing skills and written & oral communications skills.
- Develop critical thinking skills, problem solving skills and evaluative skills.
- Debate current global issues and world problems.
- Practice and use leadership skills in a real life global situation.
- Understand the need for peace and conflict resolution throughout the world while developing their own conflict resolution and debating skills.
Through the process of role-playing, each student becomes a delegate of a selected nation. They write, present and debate issues affecting their nation and peoples of the world. By assuming the character of a citizen of their selected country, they fully develop an understanding of the needs of a people and the importance of accepting differences.
How did the Model UN begin?
While there is no official record of how the Model UN began, we do know that Model UN is the successor of a series of student-led Model League of Nations Simulations. Some people believe that the first Model UN conference was held at Harvard University, although other colleges claim they held the first conference. Regardless, simulations of international organizations began even before the birth of the United Nations!
What is the relationship of Montessori Model United Nations to Model United Nations?
Model UN is not officially owned by any individual organization. The Model UN program in the United States is actually a decentralized community that is driven predominately by its participants.
Who Participates in Model United Nations?
The popularity of Model UN continues to grow and more than 400,000 middle school, high school and college/university students worldwide participate every year. Many of today’s leaders in law, government, business and the arts participated in Model UN during their academic careers – from US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and former World Court Justice Stephen M. Schwebel to ABC This Week anchor George Stephanapolis. Former first-daughter Chelsea Clinton is a Model UN veteran as well.
What types of topics are discussed in the Model United Nations conferences?
The agenda items discussed by the committees vary at each conference. Most conferences tend to focus on current affairs issues that are being discussed in the United Nations. These issues can highlight political, financial and/or social concerns. However, the task of some committees might be to address hypothetical concerns or issues from the past or future. For example, many conferences have “crisis” committees, in which delegates must react to a hypothetical or actual crisis situation. Other conferences host historical or future Security Council simulations.
What is a Model United Nations delegate?
A Model UN delegate is a student who assumes the role of an ambassador to the United Nations in a Model UN simulation. Prior to a conference or event, a Model UN delegate does not need extensive experience in international relations. Anyone can participate in Model UN, so long as they have the ambition to learn something new and to work with people to try and make a difference in the world. Model UN students tend to go on to become great leaders in politics, law, business, education and medicine.
Why should I participate in Model United Nations?
Model UN promotes students’ and teachers’ interest in the world around them and broadens a student’s knowledge in a variety of subjects. Model UN also teaches vital skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, research and communication. Model UN also gives students and teachers the opportunity to meet interesting new people and make new friends.
What are some of the educational benefits of Model United Nations?
For almost 60 years, teachers and students have benefited from and enjoyed this interactive learning experience. It not only involves young people in the study and discussion of global issues, but also encourages the development of skills useful throughout their lives, such as research, writing, public speaking, problem solving, consensus building, conflict resolution and compromise and cooperation.
What will workshop participants receive?
Each participating educator will:
- Receive the Montessori Model United Nations Handbook with links to the Montessori curriculum
- Learn how to participate in the Montessori Model United Nations
- Learn to use global education activities in the classroom
- Meet Ambassadors and other UN and Model UN leaders.
- Receive a private tour of the UN
- Meet with Model UN students and view a mock session
Who will advise, guide and direct the teachers, students and the conference?
The Montessori Model UN Conference is directed by The World Class, Inc. directors and staff. Throughout the year, the staff will be preparing the background guides and answering your questions in preparing for this conference. During the conference, the staff will direct committees, conduct teacher workshops and advise students on the progress of their resolutions. The World Class, Inc. Model UN staff come from a diverse background in life and education that makes our team not only unique but also very successful.