Join us for a screening of World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements including a Q&A with author John Hunter at the Majestic Theater in Downtown Corvallis on 01/22 @ 7pm as part of the City of Corvallis Martin Luther King Celebration.
What can 4th graders do? John Hunter, an elementary school teacher in Virginia, believes they can solve world peace. He believes they are capable of much more than we usually ask of them. As we prepare children for their futures, teacher John Hunter describes his type of teaching as particularly relevant for students today because “The World Peace Game is about learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown.” For over thirty years, Hunter has been teaching students the world of peace through a remarkable exercise that he created called The World Peace Game.
The World Peace Game is a multi-dimensional strategic board game that requires participants to solve global economic, geo-political, environmental, and other challenging world issues. The participants must decide for themselves how to approach, and respond to each situation, whether through negotiation, the threat or use of force, or acquiescence. Hunter uses his large-scale game grounded in real-world problems to teach his students critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, coordination, communication, research, negotiation skills, and the skill of synthesis, to name a few. Because the ever changing, interconnected world in which we live demands it, Hunter intentionally presents his students with complexity and ambiguity in order to challenge them to think their way through unclear, layered issues and dilemmas.
Filmmaker Chris Farina documented one class’s participation in The World Peace Game in his film, World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements. This exceptional and moving look into Mr. Hunter’s classroom is an engaging and exciting example of what project-based, problem-based, highly energized and relevant teaching and learning looks like. It shows a very structured and engaging classroom created by relinquishing the traditional notion of teacher always in control, at the front of the room, dispensing well-proportioned information. The film shows what is possible to create when we adopt a new vision of the learner and his or her needs and what is possible when educators continue to grow, learn, and challenge themselves.