Like many of you, I am saddened, disheartened, shocked and outraged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the past weekend.
Why did this happen? How could this happen?
But I am even more inspired by how fast the global community has responded.
Several countries have already imposed sanctions. Russia’s access to several funding sources are shut off. NATO is corroborating. Filmmakers are assembling to unveil the whole story.
As educators, what will we have our kids do? What can we do?
I truly believe as cultivators of our world’s future decision and policy makers, that the best starting point is to talk about what is happening, and help students understand what is at stake.
But the even bigger question is HOW to conduct these discussions?
After 4+ years leading “Model United Nations” delegations, I believe this is the best way to discuss events of this magnitude.
Below are some former students discussing, and voting on Nuclear Disarmament at a Model United Nations Conference in Rome.
Through a mock Conference, students act as UN member state delegates to form joint agreements for how to best avert conflict again.
Here is how the process works:
- Students choose member UN states to represent
- In pairs they research their country and it’s relationship to the main problem/issue
- Students write a position paper outlining their stance
- Delegates (students) prepare for a MUN conference with fellow classmates and write opening speeches
- The class holds the conference and works together to write a resolution
Yes, this can work in a remote setting.
Yes, this integrates academic curriculum.
Yes, this achievable for students as young as 10.
And more importantly, it helps build empathy, and foster global citizenship.
The Ukranian people put their courage on global display this weekend.
As educators, I hope we can also demonstrate ours.
In solidarity for Ukraine.