This year, I had the privilege of accompanying my daughter, Emma, and 27 Upper Elementary students to the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) in New York City.
In preparation for the conference, students spent months in Mrs. Pinto’s class and at home researching their countries and topics. They wrote country reports, made display boards about their countries, and drafted position papers.
As delegates representing France, Germany, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Vietnam, they tackled complex, real-world problems including nuclear disarmament, food insecurity, human rights in Yemen, the safety of journalists, and women’s empowerment. Their goal was to collaborate peacefully with delegates from other countries to solve these global problems by drafting and adopting formal resolutions.
Throughout the MMUN experience, I witnessed students being challenged on many levels:
- Research skills
- Time-management skills
- Public speaking
- Written communication in a variety of formats
- Understanding of world affairs and issues
- Interactions with students of different cultures and countries
- Debating and negotiating
- Leadership, collaboration, and compromise
- Applying critical thinking to real-world issues
- Remaining attentive, present, and engaged while sitting through some of the more tedious moments of the process
MMUN is truly unique. It gives you a rare glimpse into what your child can accomplish and the impact they can have one day.
“The MMUN experience has taught me how to work together to solve world problems. It also made me want to learn about what is going on in the world.” —Avi S., 5th year
“When I first got my committee and topic, I didn’t even know what they meant! It was hard to balance MMUN work with regular class assignments. I felt lucky to have a partner who was my friend because it made the work easier. Once I got to New York, all the hard work paid off and it was definitely worth it. I can’t wait to do it again.” —Emma L., 5th year
“It was an amazing adventure I’ll never forget. The work was hard but it was definitely worth it. I learned so much about important topics and I felt like I could make a difference and help change the world.” —Lina V., 4th year
“It was great to meet people from around the world. Unfortunately, the Chinese delegates could not make it due to the coronavirus outbreak. As for our committee, the security council was very productive yet challenging. In our committee, we actually reached our third topic when there are usually only 2 topics. This topic was very relevant to the world now since it addressed gun violence.” —Haashir Q., 5th year
“I was surprised to see how much work the student delegates had to do over those two days of committee sessions. They had to listen, learn, and then create and negotiate with delegates from all over the world to solve very real problems. What a wonderful experience!” —Naresh S., parent