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Beyond Model UN: Simulating Multilevel, Multiactor Diplomacy with the Millennium Development Goals
Unformatted Document Text:  Crossley-Frolick accurately reflected the policies of a particular state, NGO, IGO or MNC? In some cases, students found it difficult to distinguish between the two. Moreover, weak or shoddy preparation, particularly for the more challenging roles, such as China or India, can be a serious liability in a simulation where not all roles are equal in terms of size, influence, power. Smaller countries look to coalesce around a leader. If the leader is missing, they are rudderless. Similarly, if students do not adequately prepare for their assignment you can have individuals playing “out of character.” Vietnam would not be leading the charge to get the Asian bloc, as a whole, to articulate a clear position on the topic. But when other students are not properly acquainted with their roles then often the most prepared, extroverted of student(s), regardless of role, end up shaping the discussion, even if that is not reflective of reality. And even if students are well prepared, there can be a gap between knowledge and application. As one student who did very well in the simulation wrote in her reflection paper, “the most challenging aspect of this project was applying the research into negotiations…” Second, without a broader understanding of the region and the problems that different Asian countries face with regard to HIV/AIDS, the students begin with a knowledge gap. It is difficult for them to caucus and negotiate with others if they do not have a clearer understanding of the topic embedded within a particular context. As one student wrote in the self reflection essay, “Although I think that there was great effort on everyone’s part to push some kind of agenda, I felt that we were all new to this experience and not sure what we should focus on, or simply did not know enough about our neighbor/NGO to know what we expect/request of them.” 19

Authors: Crossley-Frolick, Katy.
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Crossley-Frolick
accurately reflected the policies of a particular state, NGO, IGO or MNC? In
some cases, students found it difficult to distinguish between the two.
Moreover, weak or shoddy preparation, particularly for the more
challenging roles, such as China or India, can be a serious liability in a simulation
where not all roles are equal in terms of size, influence, power. Smaller countries
look to coalesce around a leader. If the leader is missing, they are rudderless.
Similarly, if students do not adequately prepare for their assignment you can
have individuals playing “out of character.” Vietnam would not be leading the
charge to get the Asian bloc, as a whole, to articulate a clear position on the
topic. But when other students are not properly acquainted with their roles then
often the most prepared, extroverted of student(s), regardless of role, end up
shaping the discussion, even if that is not reflective of reality. And even if
students are well prepared, there can be a gap between knowledge and
application. As one student who did very well in the simulation wrote in her
reflection paper, “the most challenging aspect of this project was applying the
research into negotiations…”
Second, without a broader understanding of the region and the problems
that different Asian countries face with regard to HIV/AIDS, the students begin
with a knowledge gap. It is difficult for them to caucus and negotiate with others if
they do not have a clearer understanding of the topic embedded within a
particular context. As one student wrote in the self reflection essay,
“Although I think that there was great effort on everyone’s part to push
some kind of agenda, I felt that we were all new to this experience and not sure
what we should focus on, or simply did not know enough about our
neighbor/NGO to know what we expect/request of them.”
19


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