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Coaching Winning Model United Nations Teams

A Teacher's Guide

Mickolus, Edward

Publication Year: 2013

By some counts, Model United Nations (MUN) has become the single most popular extracurricular academic activity among high school students. More than two million high school and college students have assumed the roles of ambassador from real United Nations member countries, participated in spirited debate about the world's most pressing issues, and called, "Point of order, Mr. Chairman!"

Now, in Coaching Winning Model United Nations Teams, Edward Mickolus and Joseph Brannan give MUN teachers and coaches the information they need to succeed. In this informative volume, the authors (MUN coaches themselves) provide detailed guidance for each step of the MUN path, from the first meeting in the teacher's classroom to the final days of an official MUN conference. Coaches will learn about the ins and outs of parliamentary procedure and the most effective ways to help their students draft position papers and resolutions. Most important, Mickolus and Brannan illustrate the many ways that teachers can inspire their students to take an active role in making the world a better place. By the time their students move on, MUN coaches will have instilled in them such important qualities as empathy, self-confidence, and grace under pressure.

Coaching Model United Nations Teams is a fun, useful guide for teachers and coaches who are working to help develop tomorrow's leaders today.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9

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pp. ix-11

Since the early years of the twenty-first century, Model United Nations (MUN) has become the single most popular extracurricular academic activity among high school students. Its popularity has extended into many middle schools (grades 6–8) as well. More than two million high schoolers and college students have had...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-4

Whether at a formal MUN conference, in classroom setting, or at an informal club practice, students take on the roles of diplomats representing a nation or nongovernmental organization (NGO) in a simulated session of a United Nations committee, such as the Security Council or other committees of the General...

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2. Getting Started

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pp. 5-11

So now you’re enthused, have the support of the school’s administration, and need just one more thing: the students. Unless you’re inheriting an already formed team, you’ve got to go out and find your team members and keep them motivated and interested once you’ve found them. Often the most receptive audience is students...

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3. Fund-Raising

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pp. 13-19

In addition to the time demands on you and your team members—who may routinely be involved in numerous other activities in school and possibly several others outside of school and who will have heavy academic workloads—the other key limitation on the extent of your program will be funding. You can respond to this...

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4. Scheduling

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pp. 21-38

After you have introduced yourselves to each other and you have laid down a few goals for the team, you should also include in your first meeting a discussion of where the team will go for its first conference(s). You can pick any month during the school year—you’ll probably find an organization within driving distance that will...

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5. The Triangle Offense and Defense

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pp. 39-69

As part of our MUN strategy, we use an adaptation of the Triangle Offense that Phil Jackson used with the NBA Chicago Bulls when Michael Jordan was a team member. We call it the Triangle Offense and Triangle Defense. There are three overall parts of the Triangle system that we’ll explore: parliamentary procedure plays, public...

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6. Special Topics and Research

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pp. 71-78

Most conferences will provide you and your delegates with background guides—the Secretariat’s view of what the important issues that face your UN committee are. (See Appendix C for an example of a recent background guide.) They will usually cover the two to three topics the Secretariat has deemed appropriate and...

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7. Care and Feeding of Your Website

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pp. 79-85

You might also want to keep records of how your team has done and how your students have done individually. With this information in hand, you are prepared to present an oral report to your school’s leadership team and to the parent-teacher organization, a potential source of financial support for your MUN club. You’ll...

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8. What to Do at a Conference

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pp. 87-88

When debarking from your buses or vans, your students should already be in your team uniform—Western business attire and/or formal business costume for your adoptive country. We prefer black suits for our women, dark suits for our men. A flag lapel pin of your adoptive country is a nice touch. An excellent selection...

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9. Line of March

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pp. 89-94

Conferences usually begin with a plenary session in an auditorium, cafeteria, or some other large meeting room. The Secretariat members will introduce themselves, various functionaries from the host school or organization will welcome the delegates, and a guest speaker may give a presentation. Your delegation should sit...

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10. The Coach’s Role at the Conference

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pp. 95-97

You are there as a facilitator, an educator, and an inspiration to your students. You are there to get them to believe in themselves—that they can succeed at a rather unnatural endeavor: speaking to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people and persuading them to their point of view. You’re there to praise, to start them believing...

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11. How Students Can Help Your Team Outside the Conference

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pp. 99-101

When you’re not actually researching, practicing, or performing, there are a host of other tasks you can take on that will help everyone. There are some tasks that an individual member of the team can take care of for everyone on the team. For example, not everyone needs to visit the same website to look up a particular...

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12. Diversity

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pp. 103-105

Perhaps the most apparent item of 1950s technology that reveals the cultural diversity residing within the Great Hall where delegates to the General Assembly convene is the beige plastic earpiece that adorns the delegation desks that carry each nation’s name. There are six official languages spoken at the United Nations, each...

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13. The Ethical Dimension of MUN

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pp. 107-110

By its very nature, diplomacy—as practiced both in the real world and in Model United Nations—conjures up a rigorous competition of ideas and strategy. And for most MUNers and their teacher-advisors, playing by the rules fits the expected norm. The difference between modern diplomacy in the real world and what takes...

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Appendix A: UN Factsheet

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pp. 111-122

Attempting to wade through the mountains of information available on the United Nations can quickly erode your time for researching anything else. The following article was prepared by the State Department for its website, and provides virtually everything your students should know about the actual organization in order...

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Appendix B: Awards Criteria

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pp. 123-126

Although many conferences attempt to give the impression that awards are not important and that the key reason for the conference’s existence is education, solving the world’s problems, etc., virtually all of them actually give awards to individuals and sometimes to schools. So you might as well compete for them....

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Appendix C: Sample Background Guide

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pp. 127-161

Welcome to “My First MUN IX.” For most of you, this MUN Training Conference will be your introduction to Model United Nations, an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations agenda....

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Appendix D: Sample Position Paper

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pp. 163-174

This position paper was written by a Marshall team in preparing for the National High School Model UN’s 2005 conference. As you can see, students should always update their position papers. Just having them available off-the-shelf can quickly leave oneself open to charges of obsolescence....

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Appendix E: Lesson Plans

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pp. 175-221

Model UN offers you numerous opportunities to score points by speaking. The key thing to remember: Always take the opportunity to speak, no matter how minor. Many Chairs simply keep a tally of how many times delegates speak, with no differentiation between a long, brilliantly argued tour d’horizon of the substantive...

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Appendix F: Further Reading

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pp. 223-235

There are numerous websites that offer suggestions for quality delegate performance, and a few books written are for delegates. We have seen precious few books that are designed for MUN coaches per se. Among the few books/articles that might be helpful to you are the following:...


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pp. 225-232

About the Authors

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pp. 233-234

E-ISBN-13: 9781612346045
E-ISBN-10: 1612346049
Print-ISBN-13: 9781612346038
Print-ISBN-10: 1612346030

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2013