MUN-E Cheat Sheet: 2012-2013

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in Blog, Current Events, Lessons, ModelUN, Updates | Comments Off on MUN-E Cheat Sheet: 2012-2013

MUN-E Cheat Sheet: 2012-2013

We at Model UN Education and The MUNIVERSITY are happy to FINALLY bring you what will become our “annual” international news pre-season summary. Have you ever heard of Fantasy Football or even an All-Star game in professional sports? Well, this is our all-star list of newsworthy world events starting from the near end of your previous school year. We hope to give you a quick overview of the summary of these events, linking each one to a series of news articles. We will undeniably confess that we have our own bias as EVERY organization does. As educators, we seek to give a bird’s eye view of each event on a large timescale. As a lesson, you should NEVER believe what you read in a single article, especially when it comes to anything you read on the INTERNET. The sooner you begin to use your ability to CURATE YOUR RESEARCH, the more embarrassment you will avoid in the future. Some opposing or allied delegates will lose trust in you immediately if you begin quoting a source that is completely wrong, for example, when John Kerry says the USA has a very strict line about chemical weapons, you cannot quote him and assume that we have never sold chemical weapons to middle eastern countries. The mountain of historical evidence is against you.  We also do not want you to think that we are historians. We have no intention of giving a complete deconstruction of ANY event. We may actually phrase our bias in such a way that you, as a Model UN delegate, can “spin” your position the way we will undoubtedly spin ours. But you will have to rephrase your research through the perspective of your respective country or the person that you represent in your respective committee. For example, don’t use our arguments about Barack Obama’s failure to work with Congress if you are a representative of the United States. Our review will begin in the summer, post-Putin election. Note that the links we are attaching are from a site that simply aggregated a series of news articles so that you may do your own investigation. We wanted to thank the creators of the website endgame.com but there is no information through which we can thank them. So give them some clicks and do your proper diligence of RESEARCH: Spain Accepts 100 Billion Euro Bailout Deal. (06-08-2012, 40 Records) Financial issues are becoming the hallmark of every political decision in the world. If you are going to have any power as a diplomat, you are going to have to become financially savvy. In the case of the European Union, you need to focus on the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BOE). The Federal Reserve of the USA (the Fed) is a replica of the BOE and the ECB is a modern, overextended replica of the Fed. European countries that rely on tourism much less than Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain (unfavorably called the PIGS), have much more stable economies. Greece’s troubles should be relatively familiar to you, and Italy, Spain, and Portugal are experiencing very similar troubles...

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Howard Zinn, MUN, & The Future of Education

Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in Blog, Current Events, ModelUN, MUN, MUN-E | Comments Off on Howard Zinn, MUN, & The Future of Education

Howard Zinn, MUN, & The Future of Education

After spending weeks thinking about the presentation and education panel I would be leading at ChoMUN, I found a new perspective on our current systems. The group at the Da Vinci Institute had a great deal of experience in “Futurist” thought. In the first few paragraphs of their treatise on the future of education, they cite the inefficiency of systems as they exist today. It is a distant past, but before I continue I want to explain their first reference to an inefficient system that hindered progress in the ancient world: the Roman Number system. It is accepted by most mathematics historians (yes, they exist) that the progress of the Greeks ground to a complete halt when the Romans asserted their grip over most of Europe and the Mediterranean coastline. Writing a number in Roman numerals is an addition and subtraction equation in itself! Think about the number MDCCCXLIV = 1844. Imagine trying to do bookkeeping and data entry with this system. Imagine division problems… never mind exponents and decimals!! Now go a step further and imagine how engineering and finance must’ve been held back by this inefficient numerical system. In our country today, we have developed a tax code that is now 64,000 pages long. We have so many laws that most lawyers believe they are uncountable. Another system that is becoming utterly decrepit is the education system. Each of us were born with the natural proclivity towards learning (we witness, we crawl, we walk, we speak, we write, we develop language and vocabulary…) yet by the time we’ve reached adolescence, most students grow sick of the tedium of grades, papers, exams, standardized tests, rigid classrooms, and they question the “reasons” for knowing math or history. Something has gone wrong with our current investments, and our future deserves a fresh perspective. Students deserve to be inspired and teachers deserve inspired students. Our system has been slow to adapt to the revolution of the internet. The academics who are revealing a renaissance of education research are slow to push their discoveries into the classroom. The local public education districts are so oppressed by budgetary constraints that they struggle more with balance sheets, completely losing sight of advantageous reform. As a graduate student in the most quantitative field that currently exists in education (An outline of a program in psychometrics), I am a first-hand witness of the trench that lies between the practices of policy makers and educational researchers. When imagining the future of education, we must make room for the creativity of learners to pursue their interests and motivations. The extent of subject matter that can be learned has become so vast, each with a depth unrivaled in any historical context. When we restrict each student to read a subset of classical novels, whitewashed interpretations of history, and terse outlines of science, we dull the beauty and richness of the human experience. Then we take it a step further and force today’s students to bubble in dots for more than two weeks of the school year, instigating anxieties and insecurities that negate the confidence building activities that should be...

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