For the past 30 years, teacher John Hunter has put the problems of the world on a 4-by-5 plywood board — and let his fourth-graders solve them. Hunter will highlight the principles behind his innovative creation, the World Peace Game, during a free public talk on Thursday, October 25, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. in Thurston Memorial Chapel.
Hunter, who has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential, was inspired to create the game by travels during his university years. He began thinking about how teaching might contribute to peace in the world by helping students become skilled, compassionate, globally competent strategic thinkers and leaders. The hands-on political simulation that he came up with reveals the interconnectedness of the global community as students play as “nation teams,” addressing economic, social and environmental crises amid the threat of war. The goal is to achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention.
His enormously popular online TED Talk about the game was selected by TED (a nonprofit dedicated to “ideas worth sharing”) and The Huffington Post as “the most influential idea of 2011.” The critically acclaimed documentary “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements” chronicles Hunter’s work.
During the talk at Punahou, called “Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders,” Hunter will address how open-ended, complex problem-solving can galvanize students to think critically and creatively, preparing them to lead in an evolving world.
His appearance is part of The Innovation Series being presented by Punahou’s Institute for Teaching, Learning and Instructional Innovation, with additional support from the Punahou School Class of 1950 Distinguished Speakers Fund.
Photo courtesy of Will May