On April 10, six Inly School Middle School students embarked on a three-day journey to New York City to attend Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN), representing the country of Turkey. The MMUN conference fits well with the Inly School curriculum and its emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. When they arrive at the MMUN conference, students transform themselves into UN Ambassadors and assume the rights and responsibilities of world leaders. Their imaginations propel them to collaboratively create resolutions to our world’s most pressing problems. MMUN encourages students to know that they can make a difference.
At Inly, the Model UN team is a four-month commitment. Beginning in January, student ambassadors meet weekly in an after-school program to research, prepare, and write position papers on the needs, goals, and foreign policies of the country they will represent. Taking on their ambassadorial roles in a Model UN simulation, students research the issue that their UN committees will address. Model UN participants learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the rights of the child, child labor, 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.
The Montessori Model United Nations is an international event held each year. Montessori students from all over the country and the world attend to study complex problems and find workable solutions to real-world problems. Collaboration is key as they prepare positions and draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, and resolve conflicts with professionalism. The MMUN conferences are held each year in New York City and in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s MMUN New York conference was held April 10-13 at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge. The participants also had a chance to visit the real United Nations headquarters to hold a mock meeting.
Tschol Slade, Director of the Inly Middle School, MMUN Advisor and chaperone, noted that this year’s group was extremely excited for the experience. Slade observed, “After spending four months researching their topics and becoming experts on Turkey’s perspective, there is nothing that quite compares to students sitting in the actual General Assembly, in the seat where an actual UN delegate sits, and casting a vote for or against a resolution. That authentic experience really connects them to the complex and tough issues that the world is dealing with.”
Inly Middle School student and MMUN attendee, Nick Bartlett, remarked, “This experience made me realize that I could be an ambassador or a diplomat someday, which is really empowering.” Katie Perez-Albuerne, another Inly Middle School student and MMUN attendee said, “We had an amazing time getting to know students from all over the country and the world. At one point, we sang songs with students from Chile. There was a real sense of global community and it was inspiring.”
Maria Montessori believed in peace education and that philosophy plays itself out at the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN). The students learn cooperation and the art of compromise. MMUN’s goal is to inspire youth. MMUN students formulate, present, debate, and revise positions on current issues that are affecting people of the world. By assuming the perspectives of a citizen of their selected countries, MMUN students not only develop an understanding of the needs and rights of others, but also learn the respect the cultures, the political views, and the belief system of others.
Click here to check out an article on this year’s trip to MMUN on WickedLocal.