International Education Washington

Teacher Professional Development for Model UN

This project is funded by a grant from Asia Society/Longview Foundation.

Purpose: Increase P-20 connections in International Education and involvement of Special Needs populations

Timeframe: Spring 2004


  • Infuse International Education perspectives into professional development opportunities connected with Model UN at the University of Washington
  • Link with Special Needs populations in the state to ensure that we are making International Education accessible to all students

Key Personnel:

  • Loretta Ferguson, Special Ed Teacher and Intercultural Communications Consultant
  • Diane Adachi, Special Assistant for International Affairs & Director, Office of International Affairs, University of Washington

Status as of:  11/12/2004 | 9/3/2004 | 5/10/2004 | 4/12/2004

Status as of 11/12/2004

  • The WASMUN team at the UW is continuing forward with plans. See

Status as of 9/3/2004

  • New Model UN team from the UW has been in contact with the Coalition about plans for training sessions for teachers. We plan to publicize the trainings and help with outreach to special populations.

Status as of 5/10/2004

  • The Coalition invited representatives from several organizations to attend the Opening Ceremonies on April 23, 2004 at UW HUB, including:
    • A.C.E. Access to Opportunity @ Aki Kurose Middle School
    • Family Partnership Project at Seattle Schools, represented by Adie Simmons of the and two colleagues
    • International Rescue Committee
    • Somali Community
  • A number of Coalition members were also present for the Opening Ceremonies. We were delighted to see Nancy Bacon of the World Affairs Council Global Classroom receive special thanks and recognition. Nancy was one of the original visionaries who brought Model UN to Washington State.

Next Steps:  The Coalition team will work with Tamara Leonard of the UW to organize a special teacher training session for teachers working with special populations, including immigrants, refugees, and special needs students.

Impressions from this year's Model UN

This was my first exposure to Model UN, and it had the excitement of getting a taste of what the real UN faces in terms of logistics and protocol -- balancing the many perspectives that want to be represented. The students seemed very engaged.

As it happened, the first committee session I visited was "Social, Humanitarian, Cultural ESL." on the topic of "Disabled and functionally impaired students." (Quite appropriate given that our intent in the grant was to reach out to just such special needs students, as well as under-represented ethnic groups.)

I was totally fascinated by the discussion (caucus) that took place when Mozambique proposed to create special -- separate -- classes for students with disabilities to better meet their academic needs (since they can't keep up with the students in the regular classroom). Clearly, the WASMUN students wanted to do the "best thing" for these students with disabilities, but how interesting that they seemed to be quite unaware that the great desire of special ed advocates for the past decade or more has been for greater inclusion of special needs students in "regular" classrooms so that they have an opportunity to experience a real-world "normal" environment as they are growing up and developing. I wonder what the conversation would have been like if there had been a child in a wheelchair there or a child with Autism.

The students did an excellent job representing the difficult place that so many countries are in: they simply don't have the resources to meet these special needs. I could feel the students' compassion for each others' countries as they talked about these challenges. Some had the foresight to suggest that the developed nations might consider helping out the developing nations so that they could provide an education to children with special needs!

-- Michele Anciaux Aoki 4/26/2004    

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Status as of 4/12/2004

  • We held initial planning meeting at UW on April 7 with Diane Adachi and Tamara Leonard. Our plan is to invite people from the special needs communities to the Opening Ceremonies of this year's Model UN, which is scheduled for April 23-24, 2004 at UW HUB. For more information, see Talking Points on Washington State Model UN (PDF).
  • Coalition members are invited to attend the Opening Ceremonies and the Teacher Workshop (PDF).
  • For a complete schedule, see the Washington State Model UN web site

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