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World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements Hardcover – April 2, 2013
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Hunter (teacher, education consultant, TED speaker) has been introducing global issues to students from his fourth-grade class and beyond for more than 20 years via his self-designed World Peace Game. Over a period of weeks, through a complex set of scenarios, children and teens learn to negotiate, battle, obtain resources, cooperate in the wake of natural disasters, and resolve all manner of conflicts with each other and in response to the demands of their ever-changing world. The game’s success proves that long, thought-out thinking assignments provoke an unprecedented positive response in students, a conclusion that flies in the face of current standardized-testing requirements. “Where once there seemed to be room to wonder, to speculate, to not know,” he writes, “there now seems to be increasing pressure for instant answers, immediate solutions, and narrowly defined results.” 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. --Colleen Mondor
"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
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Top customer reviews
We are at critical crossroads, as any generation has been before us. What type of world do we want to leave to our children and their grandchildren? Each person's or groups actions create another action.
Would like to see this book and its exercises taught in any school, organization, as well as having teachers go through the process themselves.
Happily the author himself does the reading in his wonderfully rich, warm, and beautifully paced voice. I'm thinking that for this purchase I was extraordinarily lucky that my life was so busy that I had to get the audio version. Listening to him telling his own remarkable story is profoundly intimate and moving. As wonderful as the whole story is, I don't think my heart would have been touched so deeply had I had to settle for the printed page and listening to his words read through my own internal voice. As it is I am finding the audio version absolutely transformational as the love the author feels for life and learning and all his students is transmitted so effectively through the spoken word.
If you have to commute, this audio book will definitely inspire you and lift your spirits every time you get in the car! It is quite the experience.
I had problems understanding the mechanics and process of the game. He states there are only 8 or so game days of play but the students solve 50 contrived crises during play. That averages out to over 6 per game day.
The book would have much more credibility were it to include the failures of the game experienced of 30 years. Totally excluded were comments and incidents involving any helicopter parents. It doesn't add up that this game becomes such a major learning experience for the children yet there are no hyper-reactive parents on the scene. The grand scheme and concept of the game is indeed phenomenal. It is a target rich learning environment: powerful, embracing, engaging for the students. In the hands of the master Teacher I cannot think of a more productive tool. In the hands of the other 95 percent of today's American Teachers, this is a highly DESTRUCTIVE tool. (I am in the education field.)
This book is certainly worth the read because it will bring value to different readers based on the reader's point of origin. The author is very articulate and has a smooth writing voice. That he sees all and only the positive in his students is a special attribute, but a disingenuous one at times. Like many Teachers, he values the process more than the results (80/10 balance). This book is absolutely worth the investment of time and money.
I look forward to even more students learning about this important contribution to the world of education right now.
Beyond the classroom, John Hunter's extraordinary presence as a human being should be of benefit to anyone on the planet!