ITA & GSS STUDENTS DISCUSS POLICY OPTIONS FOR IRAQ
By Brenda Gonzalez, Teacher Assistant, Banning High School ITEP
Global Safety & Security Academy
Banning High School students from the International Trade Academy (ITA) and the Global Safety and Security Academy (GSS) attended the “High School Leadership Conference” (HSLC) recently sponsored by USC. Different from the traditional keynote address with breakout panel discussions, the HSLC is a working conference — based on case teaching — with USC professors and students facilitating negotiation sessions. The conference consists of role-play simulation where high school teams represent the different international actors involved in a serious regional conflict or critical global issue. Students are engaged in decision-making challenges currently faced by world leaders.
In an effort to further the students learning experience, ITA and GSS students prepared for the High School Leadership Conference by enrolling in a 7th period International Relations Course.
This year’s conference explored foreign policy and ethics pertaining to the changing nature of security and possible policy options for Iran including their effects on the social, cultural, economic, and political worlds. Three distinct views on achieving security were considered: the Maintainer—a primary focus on US national security and interests, the Reformer—a middle view focusing on rules and processes that address mutual goals, and the Transformer—a primary focus on human interest over national interest. Student policy recommendations had to explore Engagement, Sanctions, Containment, and Pre-emption (military action).
During the Conference, each high school student team is supported by USC student mentors (undergraduate and graduate volunteers). The mentors assess the students’ knowledge about the topic, discussions, and policy options throughout the conference. In the final plenary meeting, teams form coalitions and present policy recommendations for further commentary and questions.
The assessments made by USC Student Mentors state that our students were very well prepared for the simulation, have the ability to use the knowledge attained from the International Relations course and apply it to the scenario, and are able to make assertive and well founded policy recommendations. Preparation for the HSLC keeps our students engaged, provides academic support, and encourages increased attendance and academic achievement.