Global Studies Honors Investigates Refugee Crisis in UN Simulation

On December 6 and December 7, 10th Grade students in Windward’s Global Studies Honors participated in a simulation of a meeting of the United Nations to address the issue of refugees. The simulations served as the culminatation of a unit designed to help students understand the history and challenges of ensuring human rights through international cooperation at the United Nations. To prepare, students studied the historical origins of ideas about human rights. They then investigated refugee issues and policies for a particular country. During the simulation, student delegates representing countries as diverse as Lebanon, Morocco, Chile, and Poland, delivered speeches, questioned and collaborated with other delegations, and ultimately wrote, deliberated over, and voted on resolutions reflecting the views and policies of their nations.

Reflecting the true diversity of perspective among the countries represented, resolutions from countries open to refugees, as well those advocating restrictions, were considered. Resolutions that passed included those calling for better databases for refugee information, the creation of better systems for processing asylum seekers at busy borders, and increased international funding for countries that host refugees. The Global Studies teaching team, Regan Buck-Bardeen, Shana Barnett, Daniel Gutierrez, and Melanie Arias, collaborated with Windward Debate teacher Aaron Marquette and the Prep Division administrative team, to bring together four class sections over two days for this innovative learning experience. The United Nations simulation reflects the mission of Global Studies Honors, challenging students to apply their understandings of history to complex contemporary issues.

Windward School is a 7-12, co-educational, independent day school in Los Angeles, California.