As part of International Education Week (November 13-17), the U.S. Diplomacy Center's Diplomacy Simulations Program is worth exploring with your classes. It is designed to expose students to the world of foreign affairs and help them develop the 21st century skill set they will need to be competitive in today's global economy. This is an excellent resource for both traditional secondary and adult learners.
Learners can use these materials to work in teams to find solutions to a hypothetical foreign affairs issue, such as international migration, trade, environmental sustainability, or global health. The skills your students will strengthen include:
- Critical thinking: Researching and defining a position on a foreign policy issue and adjusting this position as negotiations evolve;
- Collaborating: Prioritizing goals and objectives and defining responsibilities within the group;
- Problem-solving: Creatively negotiating, compromising, and resolving conflict;
- Communicating: Active listening, team and alliance building, weighing different perspectives and points-of-view, articulating a position, and persuading others.
In a Diplomacy Simulation, your students, working in small teams, step into the world of diplomacy by representing the interests of a specific stakeholder group (e.g., foreign ministries, the U. S. Department of State, NGOs, international organizations). Under set time constraints, the groups are challenged to negotiate a solution to an international crisis. Using the information provided in the simulation packet, they develop, defend and modify their group's policy positions in real time.
You can learn more about the Diplomacy Simulation Program and access the materials, go to: Diplomacy.state.gov. Materials include a teacher's guide with links to instructional videos and seven scenarios with background information and short video links with subject matter experts. Please contact DiplomacyCenter@state.gov if you have any questions about the Diplomacy Simulations or would like to discuss how to further integrate the expertise of the Department of State into the program.
The U.S. Diplomacy Center is a non-partisan museum and education center created through a public-private partnership and is dedicated to telling the story of American diplomacy. Once open, the Center, located at the Department of State in Washington, DC, will invite visitors to explore diplomacy through interactive exhibits, artifacts and hands-on education programs. For more information on the U.S. Diplomacy Center, go to Diplomacy.state.gov and follow us on Facebook (@USDiplomacyCenter) and Twitter (@DiplomacyCenter).