This year the 3rd of ESO students at La Senda High School in Getafe are working on a project called Global Classrooms. It is a global education program based in the U.S. which forms part of the United Nations Association (United States). Its purpose is to involve middle school and high school students in in current world issues by allowing them to participate in a Model United Nations. In the Model UN, students take on the role of a UN Ambassador, debating a series of UN topics/issues while participating in interactive simulations. According to Jamie Thierolf, language assistant and coordinator of the Global Classrooms Unit at La Senda, “Global Classrooms cultivates literacy, life skills and the attitudes necessary for active citizenship.”
The Global Classrooms’ website gives us a little more insight into the program: “You are here to step into the shoes of UN Ambassadors — to draft resolutions, to plot strategy, to negotiate with your allies as well as your adversaries. Your goal may be to resolve a conflict, to cope with a natural disaster or to bring nations together on an issue like climate change. You may be playing a role, but you are also preparing for life. You are acting as global citizens.” – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, address to Global Classrooms: Los Angeles, 2008
We asked Jamie to explain in a little more detail the role of La Senda in this year’s Global Classrooms and this is what she had to say: “This is La Senda´s first year working with Global Classrooms. Our topic this year is Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), and the students are working with a group as delegates from a specific country. They are currently drafting their position papers, where they research the topic in their country and write an essay about their country´s work with OVC and add ways to improve international communications and programs to improve welfare for Vulnerable Children.”
Jamie has informed us that twelve students will participate in a conference in February with other high school students from bilingual classrooms in Madrid. The conference is a day-long process where they debate, discuss the issue with other students, and draft resolutions.
For more information on Global Classrooms check out their website: http://www.unausa.org/global-classrooms-model-un