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11 February 2021
GCDC Educator Professional Development Workshop Provides Tools for Model UN Success



On February 3, 2021, Best Delegate, a global Model United Nations education organization, graciously hosted the Global Classrooms DC Professional Development (PD) workshop virtually. The PD workshop, hosted yearly by GCDC, serves as an opportunity for educators to gain a deeper understanding of Model UN to set their students up for success during simulations. With support from the Rotary Club Foundation of Washington DC, the one hour session welcomed middle and high school teachers from private, public charter, and public schools in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as from schools across the nation in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Minnesota. 



Using Best Delegate's How to Prepare for Virtual Model UN Conferences on Zoom Guide, the session focused on the 10 steps to prepare students for virtual Model UN simulations and the upcoming GCDC Spring 2021 Model UN Conference. Model UN serves as an opportunity for students to be curious about the world around them and learn about UN actions and global issues. In simulations, students are assigned countries to represent and advocate for on different issues – just like in the real United Nations. The activity is also one of the most effective ways to teach students critical skills, including writing, negotiation, researching, and public speaking. As a member of the GCDC Community, the year-round program, educators gain access to a full school year of 8-unit curriculum on UN policies, procedures, and global affairs to prepare the students. 


For the purpose of the workshop, participants were presented with the topic of “Peaceful Uses of Outer Space” in an UN Office for Outer Space Affairs committee. The session began with a breakdown of how to best approach researching the committee topic using the information included in a background guide. In Model UN, this guide serves as an introduction to the issue that delegates are debating. The background guide oftentimes includes key topic areas that students will focus on during committee.

Since students serve as delegates for one country during a Model UN simulation, the session next covered best practices in researching country profiles, as well as brainstorming resolutions for the topic. In breakout rooms, educators were encouraged to come up with their own solutions on the topic presented in the beginning of the session, as well as how they would share information about the research process with their students. During the discussion, one participant noted that it is important for students to have a model for a successful international solution, such as the sustainable development goals, so that they are able to analyze why those particular solutions have been effective.

The Model UN Professional Development session concluded with an overview of how to prepare students for success in a Model UN committee. Using the information outlined about the research process, educators were presented with best practices for opening speeches and creating resolutions. Through the one hour workshop, both new and seasoned Model UN coaches felt confident that they would be able to use the information learned from the session to help their students prepare for success in future Model UN conferences.


Missed the workshop? Watch the full video here.