Maria Bastaki
The impact of Model United Nations Conferences on global citizenship identity, in a Greek Senior High School environment.

Author: Maria Bastaki, University of Birmingham.

Title: The impact of Model United Nations Conferences on global citizenship identity, in a Greek Senior High School environment”

The extremely low levels of participation in elections around the world mark the beginning of a new area when the citizens play only a minor role in the shaping of the state management. School teachers should ideally rekindle trust and confidence in the political system, and promote democratic ideas and agency. A Model United Nations School Conference is a 3-day simulation, during which Senior High School students take on the roles of official delegates in various United Nations Committees. In the course of this participatory action research project, my small team of fifteen MUN students will engage in active and experiential learning. The study aims to: a) examine the strengths and limitations of the MUN Conference, in relation to the students’ perception of global citizenship, b) understand how the students’ social skills develop after their participation in the simulation, and c) find out whether political literacy and critical awareness, empowerment and sense of civil maturity might emerge within the context of the MUN Conference. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative approach techniques – questionnaires to all Conference participants, participant observation, semi-structured interviews, journal logs, photos and videos – will be used during the two cycles of the project, the first one in October 2012 and the second one in April 2013. The findings of this research, either positive or negative, might prove useful for teachers, curriculum designers or school directors who would like to urge their students to adopt a critical global mind-set.

The DARE Collaborative is a research partnership focused on the digital arts in education, led by the UCL Institute of Education and the British Film Institute. It has a membership of university researchers, teachers and educators in cultural organisations with an interest in arts, media, culture and new literacies in the context of education and digital media.
Centro en Investigación Avanzada en Educación