Meaningful Learning and The Integration of Responsible Management Education in the Business School Courses

Gyuzel Gadelshina, Chandra Vemury, Arif Attar
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In recent years there has been an increasing interest in responsible management education. Integration of the principles of responsible management education (PRME) within the core curricula of business schools and management education-related institutions calls for the creation of innovative pedagogies and educational approaches. Responding to the inherent challenges associated with the development and implementation of education for sustainability within existing business‐related education, this paper seeks to discuss a teaching initiative of introducing Model United Nations (Model UN) as a classroom activity for undergraduate students. The main purpose of research presented in this paper is to explore students’ experience of engaging in Model UN debates around topics related to the sustainable development goals as defined in the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development (for example, youth unemployment, climate change, poverty, etc.). Model UN is traditionally known as an extra-curricular educational simulation of the United Nations where students play their roles as delegates from different countries and endeavour to solve real world issues using the policies and perspectives of their assigned country as well as policies and procedures of the United Nations. In this paper Model UN is proposed as a classroom engagement activity which assists undergraduate students in recognising the complexity of international negotiations and reflecting on challenges associated with the decision making process and how it affects the sustainability agenda on the individual and societal level. This paper seeks to provide a useful insight into the practical value of Model UN simulation as a means to facilitate meaningful learning on the course. It is suggested that experience of introducing Model UN as a core curricular activity, rather than one that is extra-curricular, will be of particular interest for educators who are involved in delivering sustainability-related courses or wishing to teach sustainability-related topics in globally responsible business-related education programs for undergraduate students.

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