John Hunter and World Peace Game

by Aaron Cooper
Assistant Head of School

Click Here to see TED talk
I had the opportunity to attend a talk by John Hunter, 4th grade teacher and TED speaker, while at the National Association of Independent Schools Conference in Seattle.  Mr. Hunter spoke about his World Peace Game, developed over the course of his 30 year career. From his website, the game is described as a "hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war (1)." From my perspective, this wonderful game establishes high expectations while giving students an opportunity to collaborate, create and solve "real-world" problems, as they work toward "winning."  

Good teachers think alike it seems.  Mr. Hunter's talk made me reflect upon the game-like initiatives we already have in place at EMS.  Ms. Malmstrom's tech curriculum involving MMOG's like Minecraft or Quest Atlantis, and Mr. Penny's City Game come to mind as similar, middle-school examples.  But "immersive" games like these happen across each grade level at our School. Mr. Hunter's World Peace Game (as well as our own games), when you see them in action, are refreshing reminders of what children can achieve when given an engaging and dynamic framework to think critically and collectively.

You don't have to take my word for it though; you can watch Mr. Hunter's TED talk or review his World Peace Game Foundation website if you would like more information.  As well, the game serves as the backdrop for a new movie debuting on PBS this Spring, called World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements.  To watch a trailer of the film, click here.

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