For more than thirty years, teacher John Hunter has been teaching the World Peace Game to his fourth-grade students. The real-world lessons that he has learned from their participation in global problem-solving are not about the naiveté of youth, but about the possibilities and pitfalls of collaborative solutions. No doubt, some readers will focus on the students' approaches to issues like nuclear proliferation or climate change; others instead will zero in on the psychological dynamics of conflict resolution. Either way, they will feel uplifted by Hunter's far-reaching experiment in making students (and us) widen our horizons.
World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievementsby John Hunter
In John Hunter’s classroom, students fearlessly tackle global problems and discover surprising solutions by playing his groundbreaking World Peace Game. These kids—from high school all the way down to fourth grade, in schools both well funded and underresourced—take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military… See more details below
In John Hunter’s classroom, students fearlessly tackle global problems and discover surprising solutions by playing his groundbreaking World Peace Game. These kids—from high school all the way down to fourth grade, in schools both well funded and underresourced—take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military commanders. Through battles and negotiations, standoffs and summits, they strive to resolve dozens of complex, seemingly intractable real-world challenges, from nuclear proliferation to tribal warfare, financial collapse to climate change.
In World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, Hunter shares the wisdom he’s gleaned from over thirty years teaching the World Peace Game. Here he reveals the principles of successful collaboration that people of any age can apply anywhere. His students show us how to break through confusion, bounce back from failure, put our knowledge to use, and fulfill our potential. Hunter offers not only a forward-thinking report from the front lines of American education, but also a generous blueprint for a world that bends toward cooperation rather than conflict. In this deeply hopeful book, a visionary educator shows us what the future can be.
"At a time when school systems have completely lost focus on what really matters, John Hunter reminds us what we should be teaching our children. His ideas will help anyone who has the courage to understand that a real education must go beyond filling in circles on a standardized test form." — Rafe Esquith, author of Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire
"John Hunter's World Peace Game is more than a brilliant example of educational game design. It shows us exactly how to inspire and manage creative collaboration around the most complex problems imaginable. And given that virtually all young people today are growing up gamers, this book is a must-read for twenty-first century educators and leaders." — Jane McGonigal, author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
"Hunter's optimism is infectious" — Publishers Weekly
"With numerous reflections on the game’s impact on certain students and a resounding final chapter highlighting his class’s 2012 visit to the Pentagon, Hunter proves the value of “slow teaching” in this important, fascinating, highly readable resource for educators and parents alike." — Booklist
Verdict Readers will not find here practical assistance for implementing Hunter’s program themselves or defending its quiet outcomes in a results-oriented education system. Nor will they find new stories about the World Peace Game, as Hunter’s writing here is another record of the results he has previously shared elsewhere. The project itself is worthy of looking into but recommended in other formats.—Anna Berger, Piper City, IL
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Meet the Author
A native Virginian and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, JOHN HUNTER is an award-winning teacher and educational consultant. Hunter led his first sessions of the World Peace Game at Richmond Community High School in 1978. Since then, he has taught the game successfully in a variety of settings, from public schools in Virginia and Maryland to a session with Norwegian students sponsored by the European Youth Initiative. He has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Google’s Palo Alto campus, the Pentagon, the United Nations, and elsewhere. His March 2011 TED talk was greeted with a standing ovation, and Arianna Huffington and Chris Anderson named it the No. 1 talk of TED 2011.
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Fiddles while world fights various plagues