Hillel Academy students engage in diplomacy in Arab-Israeli conflict via simulator

Students assume roles of diplomatic leaders to work through conflict.

(PR NewsChannel) / October 29, 2012 / TAMPA, Fla. 

Hillel Academy TampaWithout ever leaving the classroom, the 8th graders at Hillel Academy of Tampa (www.hillelacademytampa.com) are getting a perspective of the Arab-Israeli conflict never before thought possible.

The students are engaging in diplomacy and international politics via an online simulator, assuming the roles of Arab and Israeli leaders in situations that mirror the real-life Arab-Israeli conflict as students from schools across the country do the same.

Hillel is the only middle school in the nation participating. The rest are high schools.

“From writing strategic goals for their countries to posting press releases in the name of the president, they are getting some insight into the complex political situation facing the world,” says Amy Wasser, Head of School at Hillel Academy of Tampa.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict Simulation (AIC) is a political and diplomatic character-playing exercise that immerses participants in the dynamics of national and international politics — thereby helping them to become aware of the complex nature of political reality and the challenges of finding solutions.

The technology was developed by the graduate school at the University of Michigan’s Interactive Communications Department.

In the exercise, students engage in diplomacy in Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, and Iran. They base their communications on real world situations using today’s headlines to construct their thoughts.

For instance, a student “playing” the Lebanese March 14 Foreign Minister may write to the Foreign Ministers of Syria and issue the following statement: “If you think we will back down from our cause by your use of terror we will not. We will avenge our ministers death by fighting for what we believe in for our country.”

Wasser says that this program allows students to move away from text book learning and have the students studying the actual primary sources in today’s headlines to tackle real situations. Hillel’s approach to history is a hands-on one where the school uses documents and first-hand accounts to teach students how decisions are made. This experience fits in perfectly with Hillel’s philosophy, Wasser says.

Wasser also says making the experience more interesting for this group is the students’ upcoming class trip to Israel at the end of April.

“Students at high schools around the country portraying the other personalities in the simulation will not get that first-hand experience,” Wasser says. “Our students will get to see what they are learning about with their own eyes and in real-life. I think it will be incredible.”

To visit the school, talk to students and report on the simulator, please use the contact information below.

Amy Wasser, Hillel Academy of Tampa
Phone: 813.963.2242
Website: www.hillelacademytampa.com

Direct link:  https://prnewschannel.com/2012/10/29/hillel-academy-students-engage-in-diplomacy-in-arab-israeli-conflict-via-simulator/

SOURCE:  Hillel Academy of Tampa

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