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Home | Empowering Tomorrow's Leaders: The Montessori Model United Nations Program at MdTL

Empowering Tomorrow's Leaders: The Montessori Model United Nations Program at MdTL

Montessori de Terra Linda (MdTL), San Rafael

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Montessori de Terra Linda (MdTL).

Meet Zoe, a 6th-grade student at Montessori de Terra Linda (MdTL) who recently returned from the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) Conference in New York City where she represented the People's Republic of Bangladesh in the Economic and Financial Committee. 

Every March, all MdTL 6th graders take a five-day trip to New York where they join students from all over the globe to experience the exact process that the United Nations committees engage in. This culminates in passing resolutions that are read from the dais of the UN General Assembly.

Due to an uneven number of students, Zoe ambitiously volunteered to represent her country without a partner. This meant writing two detailed position papers, giving two speeches, and participating in negotiations on two complex topics: Disaster Risk Reduction and Combating Desertification. 

“Desertification doesn’t just endanger biodiversity and living things; it also endangers how we live — for instance, eco-safety, poverty eradication, socio-economic stability, and sustainable development.” 

- Zoe, age 11

Zoe was determined to do her best and reach a consensus with the other delegates on final resolutions. Her engagement and ability to articulate her points were recognized by her peers. When it was time for her committee to elect someone to speak on behalf of the final resolution for Combating Desertification in the General Assembly at the UN Headquarters, she was an obvious choice. Standing before more than a thousand people, Zoe stood tall. She confirmed group agreement of the resolution, which considered everything from sustainable energy to agroforestry to raising funds and awareness of desertification.

The Preparation

Starting in the fall of MdTL students’ 6th-grade year, students spend time each week researching and embodying the perspectives of the countries they will represent at the MMUN conference. They learn to appreciate and respect diverse cultures, political views, and belief systems. Their studies emphasize the importance of diplomacy and international relations, encouraging students to negotiate, collaborate, and resolve conflicts just like real-world leaders. 

Zoe, Age 4

The groundwork for the MMUN program begins long before students’ 6th grade year. In our Primary Program, children as young as 3 years old begin to learn about geography and countries worldwide through hands-on Montessori lessons and materials. The preparation continues as students enter their early elementary years, where they delve into areas of interest, thoroughly research a topic, and have regular opportunities to give presentations to their classmates and other classrooms, which also serves as their introduction to public speaking. Elementary students run class meetings and bring agenda items to the group when they have a classroom concern, making them engaged community members from a young age.

The Impact 

The MMUN program at MdTL is not just an educational experience; it's a journey into the heart of global diplomacy. Participants dive deep into international relations, environmental issues, and human rights. They engage in rigorous research, spirited debates, and drafting resolutions that address pressing global issues, all while developing invaluable life skills: public speaking, critical thinking, collaboration, and effective communication. This experience expands their understanding of the world, develops their ability to think critically and empathetically about complex global challenges, and instills a sense of global citizenship and responsibility, empowering students to believe in their capability to make a difference in our rapidly changing world.

To find out more about MdTL and our programs, ages 2 years through 6th grade, schedule a tour today. 

“My favorite part of MMUN was collaborating with students from all different places. I really felt that I had a say on real issues. Getting dressed up and touring New York City was pretty fun, too!”

- Zoe, age 11

To find out more about MdTL and our programs, ages 2 years through 6th grade, schedule a tour or email our Director of Admissions at