Global Classrooms is an innovative educational program that engages public middle school and high school students in an exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials. Global Classrooms cultivates literacy and leadership as students explore important topics such as peacekeeping, sustainable development, human rights, and economics of globalization. During class simulations of the United Nations (UN) Security Council and other UN organs, students tackle global concerns including poverty, refugee protection and the environment as they role‐play country, interest group, or nongovernmental organization positions.
The Mission of Global Classrooms Global Classrooms cultivates global literacy, life skills and the attitudes necessary for active citizenship by:
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Engaging students through the exploration of international issues and institutions; Supporting educators through professional development and innovative learning resources; and Enriching communities by nurturing respect among young people for diverse perspectives.
At the heart of UNA‐USA's Global Classrooms program is Model United Nations, which for the past fifty years has been at the center of a thriving community of young people interested in issues of international cooperation. Model UN allows students to step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate international issues, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN's rules of procedure ‐ all in the interest of mobilizing "international cooperation" to solve global problems. For over 50 years, Model UN has thrived in highly selective high schools and colleges – institutions with the resources to match a strong student interest in world affairs. But before Global Classrooms, students in economically disadvantaged public schools were missing out. The world was moving forward, spurred on by technology and globalization. But many students had no way to connect with and interpret it. The interest was there; the educational tools were not. To bridge the gap in the Model UN community between experienced programs and traditionally underserved urban schools, UNA‐USA has instituted Global Classrooms in American cities and in locations around the world.
The objectives of the Global Classrooms program in these cities are to: • • • Bring the benefits of international education and Model UN to public school students; Diversify the Model UN community; and Institutionalize international current affairs education in schools under‐represented in the Model UN community.
Global Classrooms delivers on these objectives through three main program components: • Curriculum. There are four different curriculum issues: Peacekeeping, Human Rights, Sustainable Development, and the Economics of Globalization. • Professional Development. Teachers are vital to the success of students, and Global Classrooms’ professional development strategies develop teachers who are confident and knowledgeable. • Conferences are culminating events to the program wherein the students can test their newly developed skills in the charged atmosphere of mock UN sessions. Today, Global Classrooms is bringing international education to public school students in dynamic ways. It is showing that there is a broader way to think about issues of conflict, ethnic divisions and global systems. It is also proving that an understanding of these ideas can lead to peaceful solutions to problems – whether at the community or global level. Global Classrooms cities: Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Delhi, New York City, Tampa Bay, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Sao Paolo, Seoul, Washington D.C. Program Sponsors and Supporters
The Annenberg Foundation UN Foundation/The Better World Fund Emilio Botin Foundation Deutsche Bank Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation The Goldman Sachs Foundation
Microsoft Corporation The National Geographic Education Foundation The New York Times Company Paul Newman/Newman’s Own, Inc. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation The U.S. State Department