Negotiating the complex world we live in
Several Edinburgh schools work with the University’s Model United Nations Society to help pupils engage with world affairs and global challenges by learning more about how the UN works.
By using this approach, pupils learn key skills such as political awareness, public speaking, debating, negotiating and problem-solving
Each pupil imagines themselves in the shoes of a leader or ambassador from another country and, with help from Model UN, everyone gets together to debate an issue of global importance. The issues can range from nuclear weapons to clean water supply, to girls’ education or any other relevant topic.
Through role-playing meetings like the UN Security Council and General Assembly, participants research, debate and try to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems just like the real thing. Most of all, they find it great fun!
Because participants discuss UN topics and represent their adopted country’s position, they will often be arguing from an unfamiliar perspective, developing knowledge, understanding, empathy and other key skills which are important for life and future employment.
The University of Edinburgh Model UN Society (EdMUN) has been running for nearly two decades and, through TeachMUN, encourages schools to take up this opportunity. Workshops and classes can be tailored to any level of ability, from S3 to S6, and the topics can be designed for formal debate or informal discussion.
The Model UN concept fits well into the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence by developing social science awareness and political literacy. It can be shaped as appropriate for almost any age group. If they are keen, we are happy to provide schools with the resources and support to set up their own MUN society.
EdMUN runs workshops in individual schools. It also hosts two longer ‘MUN Conferences’ which give pupils an opportunity to use their skills over the course of a day or a weekend, alongside their peers.
Since 2016, EdMUN has also annually hosted a group of c. 50 Italian high school students from Liceo Galilei in Trieste for a week of workshops and debate, rounded off with a conference over the final weekend of their stay.
Find out more
To find out how your school can take part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org