Earlier this month, the United Nations held its 19th annual Teaching About the United Nations Conference (CTAUN) at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
This year’s conference, which took place on April 6, hosted 560 attendees, including Mercyhurst Fulbright Teaching Assistant Natalia Krivosheeva.
The conference was entitled “Stepping Up to Protect the World’s Children.” Its annual focus is related to child safety, curriculum development on international issues, recognition of excellence in education and the importance of sustainable development in teaching.
Krivosheeva is a Fulbright Scholar from Kazan, Russia, who came to Erie this year to educate Mercyhurst students about her own Russian heritage, culture and language, while simultaneously learning about American culture through participation in classes here.
She attended the CTAUN Conference to learn more about how education has a positive impact on the world and its children.
This year’s conference focused on the issues of children facing conflict, violence against children, modern-day slavery and gun violence.
At the event, Krivosheeva and other participants saw multiple panels addressing each of the issues.
Participants were also taught how they could use their positions as professors and students to make a positive impact in these areas.
Krivosheeva felt that the most valuable part of the conference was the emphasis on the importance of observing and recognizing the presence of these problems, in order to combat them.
In addition to this, when she returns to Russia, she hopes to stress to her students that they are lucky to live in a country with sufficient access to education, as the conference placed great weight on the lesser availability of schools in underdeveloped nations.
Another interesting topic that was discussed was the prevalence of gun violence that we have seen in schools in recent months. Along with the rise of school shootings in the US, other nations have dealt with terrorist attacks in schools.
The conference, which is held every year in New York City, is open to both students and faculty.
Krivosheeva suggests that both attend and pass on what they learn.
For her, being a teacher means that you are not just responsible for your own students, but also for students around the globe.
As education becomes more multicultural and diversified, Krivosheeva hopes to remind those she works with to stay up to date on world issues.
“Teachers are not just responsible for teaching a curriculum, but also educating their students about life,” Krivosheeva said.