About The Film

The Film

World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements interweaves the story of John Hunter, a teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his students' participation in an exercise called the World Peace Game. The game triggers an eight-week transformation of the children from students of a neighborhood public school to citizens of the world. The film reveals how a wise, loving teacher can unleash students' full potential.

The film traces how Hunter's unique teaching career emerges from his own diverse background. An African-American educated in the segregated schools of rural Virginia, where his mother was his 4th grade teacher, he was selected by his community to be one of seven students to integrate a previously all-white middle school. After graduation, he traveled extensively to China, Japan, and India, and his exposure to the Ghandian principles of non-violence led him to ask what he could do as a teacher to work toward a more peaceful world.

Hunter teaches the concept of peace not as a utopian dream but as an attainable goal to strive for, and he provides his students with the tools for this effort. The children learn to collaborate and communicate with each other as they work to resolve the Game's conflicts. They learn how to compromise while accommodating different perspectives and interests. Most importantly, the students discover that they share a deep and abiding interest in taking care of each other. World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements will inspire others by documenting the unheralded work of a true peacemaker.

The most beautiful moment is when I stand in the classroom after we've worked out an assignment together (backwards design and assessment) and the work begins.

— John Hunter

The Game

The World Peace Game is 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. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention. As "nation teams," students will gain greater understanding of the critical impact of information and how it is used.

As their teams venture further into this interactive social setting laced with highly charged philosophical issues, the skills needed to identify ambiguity and bias in the information they receive will be enhanced and more specifically they will rapidly perceive that reactive behavior not only provokes antagonism, it can leave them alone and isolated in the face of powerful enemies. Beliefs and values will evolve or completely unravel as they begin to experience the positive impact and windows of opportunity that emerge through effective collaboration and refined communication.

In essence, as meaning is constructed out of chaos and new creative solutions are proposed, players of The World Peace Game will learn to live and work comfortably at the frontiers of the unknown.

  • One need only watch the faces of the students in this film to understand the power of the message in World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements. Their intense engagement, trust in the relationship with their teacher, confidence in their own voices, and ability to collaborate serve as inspirations. John Hunter, in a manner both humble and poetic, articulates what it takes to create his particular variety of classroom magic and his hopefulness for the future. Teachers and school leaders everywhere should take an hour to watch this from beginning to end.
    Claudia Daggett, Executive Director, Elementary School Heads Association
  • World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements is an endearing and powerful film that vividly shows how one extraordinarily insightful and compassionate teacher, John Hunter, treated his students like the intelligent young beings they are and engaged them in a serious discussion about leadership and making tough choices in a complex world. Everyone should see this film – it is fun, thought-provoking, and truly inspiring.
    Susan Hackley - Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
  • World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements is an inspirational documentary that engages the audience on many different levels as it follows John Hunter's mission as a teacher to challenge his students' thinking and imaginations well beyond their experiences. It will leave you motivated and hopeful about the future of the world in the hands of the young leaders in John's classroom.
    J. Andrew Stamp – Associate Executive Director - Virginia Association of School Superintendents

Latest News

  • New World Peace Game Camp: Jefferson School - Charlottesville, VA - June 20-24, 2016

    New World Peace Game Camp: Jefferson School - Charlottesville, VA - June 20-24, 2016

    Tuesday, 12 January 2016

    Join us at the Jefferson School in Charlottesville, VA from June 20th through June 24th, 2016 for a World Peace Game Camp.

    The World Peace Game Camp is an opportunity for boys and girls to experience a 5-day intensive version of John Hunter’s World Peace Game.

    This camp is open to boys and girls who will be entering 4th grade through 7th grade.

    Registration is only open to 1st time players. 

  • Two Teachers Share What The World Peace Game Master Class Meant For Them

    Two Teachers Share What The World Peace Game Master Class Meant For Them

    Thursday, 22 October 2015

    Meghan Kearns, a teacher from Milwaukee Montessori School, a day school serving children from 3-12 years old, shared her experience with the Game and attending the International Master Class:

          I had the great honor of meeting John at a conference in 2012. After hearing his keynote speech, I was hooked! He spoke about growing up in his mother's classroom, his travels through the East, and the creation of The World Peace Game. He brought the audience into his world and I wanted nothing more than to bring The Game to our students.  We invited Mr. Hunter to Milwaukee Montessori School to share with us his secrets of bringing the problems of the world to students in a way, so complicated and intense but with so much meaning and achievement.

          I recall sitting around a huge piece of paper with Mr. Hunter and several collegeagues as we tried to map out the intricacies of The Game and being completely amazed with not only the nuts and bolts of The Game but with the unlimited opportunities that it allows the players. After much hard work, we were able to integrate The World Peace Game into our economic geography curriculum as a culminating experience for our sixth-grade students.

          Being invited to attend inaugural International Master Class was a tremendous gift and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. The idea of bringing so many passionate and dedicated educators together with the task of insuring that The World Peace Game continues to thrive was phenomenal. Not only for those of us who were there but to those students past, present and future who will be forever changed by the experiences presented through The World Peace Game.

    Manuela Murariu travelled from Romania where she runs a language center. Manuela was first trained as a WPG facilitator in Emmersdorf, Austria as part of the Foundation’s collaboration with GlobArt. After translating the Game materials into Romanian, she taught the Game to a group of teens who became the first group in Romania to play the WPG:

          Attending the International Masterclass in June meant beyond all connection and broader view. By the week’s end, I had the impression that I went around the world and played the WPG in so many other locations! I found a teacher that has set up her own school, another one that works with gifted children, another one that is passionate about homeschooling, another that has extended experience in training adults, another that has lived and taught in South Korea and with all the exchanges I had I just got richer.

          As for the future, I find a lot of meaning in sharing the WPG and the entire philosophy and approach behind it with as many teachers as possible, since to me this is a primary tool to make the world of the future a more peaceful one. After my return from the International Masterclass in June 2015 the main headlines in Europe were about the Greek crisis, and I had the feeling that if the President of the World Bank and the Prime Minister of Greece had the opportunity to play the WPG in their school years, the process and the outcome of the managing the crisis would have looked different.


  • New World Peace Game Camp: Jefferson School - Charlottesville, VA - June 20-24, 2016
  • New Master Class: Miami Country Day School - Miami, FL - March 14-18, 2016
  • New Master Class: Stiftsgymnasium - Melk, Austria - March 29-April 2, 2016
  • Two Teachers Share What The World Peace Game Master Class Meant For Them
  • TEDTalks continue to inspire us - Sugata Mitra's
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