Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Musial, Diann

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies


United Nations--Study and teaching (Secondary); Citizenship--Study and teaching (Secondary); International relations--Study and teaching (Secondary)


This study uses a pre/post quasi-experimental design to examine the effects of immersion in a simulated international diplomacy experience on high-school students’ understanding of various dimensions of citizenship. Pre- and post- experience surveys were administered to two groups of high-school students: the experimental group participated in the National High School Model United Nations, and the control group comprised two sections of a senior elective social science course in international relations. Survey items examined students’ understanding of several dimensions of citizenship, students’ current and anticipated level of involvement in political debate and change, and the influence of the experience on students’ academic and professional pursuits. The results of this study indicate that an immersion experience in international relations, as compared to a classroom experience examining similar constructs, may lead to a qualitatively different understanding of various dimensions of citizenship. Post-experience content analysis of open-ended type questions does suggest that the immersion experience may lead to greater awareness of the processes and of the role of active involvement. Also, although there were significant differences between groups, it may not be reasonable to assume that the immersion experience was the agent which led subjects to greater involvement, but rather that it was the experience that led subjects to the understanding that activities and organizations that they had been involved in prior to the immersion experience were indeed agents of political change. The findings do not support, however, the contention that the immersion experience will lead to greater levels of engagement as compared to classroom experience.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [66]-68)


vi, 80 pages




Northern Illinois University

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