World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements.
Hunter, John (Author)
Apr 2013. 240 p. Houghton, hardcover, $25.00. (9780547905594). 303.6.
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.