Currently students from Middleburg Montessori School are beginning their studies to participate in the 2018 Montessori Model United Nations in New York City. This is MMS’s 6th year participating in the Montessori Model UN. Both groups, four students from the Elementary Community and two students from the Adolescent Community at Middleburg Montessori School will be representing Ireland.
Maria Montessori was a supporter of the League of Nations and the United Nations as organizations for world peace. She believed deeply, and it is evident in her philosophy and curriculum, that peace can only be gained through the education of children. The Montessori Model UN has partnered with the United Nations to create a Montessori program that allows students to utilize reasoning, justice and morality.
MMS students will spend the next five months researching, writing, and preparing presentations during after school hours in order to prepare for the Montessori Model UN gathering in New York City in March 2018. After doing thorough research into the history and current affairs of Ireland students will formulate their position papers. The Elementary students will focus on diplomatic protection including a special committee on the Charter of the UN and on the strengthening of the organization. The Adolescent students’ research will focus on the general and complete disarmament of the illicit small arms and light weapons trade, and the strengthening of the security and cooperation in the Mediterranean Region. The committees and topics assigned to students are the same ones Ireland is a part of in the actual UN.
The Montessori Model UN is unique compared to other student Model UN’s in that it has a very similar design to the actual UN. Not only are the committees and topics the same as in the real UN, there are no awards or prizes awarded to students just as the real UN does not give prizes or awards. The goal for students is to foster cooperation by understanding the interests of their assigned country and creating collaborative agreements with other member states. While students learn debate skills the emphasis is on consensus, collaboration, and negotiation. This experience helps students develop critical thinking, problem solving, and evaluative skills. Students learn to debate current and global issues and problems as they learn about cultures, governments, and peoples of nations throughout the world.
These six MMS students range in age from 9 -12. The MMUN conference begins at the Mariott Hotel in Times Square with final voting at the UN General Assembly. This is truly a life changing experience for these children.