The Harvard Program for International Education has evolved since it’s founding in the 1980s to provide dynamic lessons to high school classes throughout the Boston area. The service and education focused arm of the International Relations Council, HPIE is run entirely by Harvard undergrads dedicated to the mission of educating young people about global issues. We are continuing to expand, working with nine teachers at six different schools last year.
The mission of HPIE is to teach high school students about the importance of international relations and current global events. We strive to bring these issues to the forefront by connecting them to domestic and local issues, thus drawing a link between Boston and the rest of the world. We aim to show students that an understanding of international issues can clarify and enhance our understanding of issues closer to home. Ultimately, HPIE endeavors to prepare high school students to be informed, engaged citizens in global affairs, equipping them with the tools to assess complex international issues for themselves.
How HPIE Works
At the beginning of each semester, every student in the program will receive a curriculum booklet, an example of which can be found here. The curriculum booklet will have briefs written by the tutors about current international events or concepts. Each week at an assigned date and time, a pair of tutors will come into class ready to discuss the brief of the week, with the expectation that students will have read the brief beforehand. The tutors will go over the material over the course of seven weeks through activities, videos, and engaging debate. The semester culminates in HPIE Day at Harvard University.
HPIE Day is a day-long conference that rounds out the program. All classes in the program are invited to attend at Harvard University, where they will use the knowledge they’ve learned through the program to tackle current international issues in a simulation. In the past, this simulation has looked at issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis and anti-globalization sentiment as it relates to trade. Students will be divided into groups representing countries or organizations, and they must determine their entity’s stance on the issue before negotiating with other groups. Students will also have the chance to hear from an IR practitioner during the opening ceremonies. Lunch will be provided. The day ends with each group presenting their stance to everyone in a poster presentation.
MUNPIE is an opportunity for Fall HPIE students to attend Harvard Model United Nations, a high school Model UN conference put on by the Harvard International Relations Council. The MUNPIE team is comprised of students from every participating HPIE school during the fall semester and is entirely paid for for the students attending. Students on the team receive Model UN training prior to the conference, which will take place in 2020 from Thursday, January 30 to Sunday, February 2nd.
For more information about preparing for Model United Nations conferences or starting a club, check out https://munguide.wordpress.com