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Glowingly reviewed by The Kirkus Review, Booklist and gaming pioneer Jane McGonigal, John’s new book, "World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements" which shares a title with Chris Farina’s documentary film will be out nationwide on April 2nd.
John will meet readers and sign his book at bookstores on a multiple city tour. National radio and television interviews are slated beginning with New York City studio programs. See the schedule and locations below.
This book release would of course not have been possible without the incredible vision, dedication of, and skillful shepherding by Cynthia Cannell of Cynthia Cannell Literary Agency, our editor Eamon Dolan and his magnificent staff at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). The dedication and acknowledgements in the book read like a small city phone book as we truly have been standing on the shoulders of so many others.
HMH’s Media Specialist Taryn Roeder has developed this schedule of events and book signing tour for John. We hope to meet many readers and friends on stops across the US:
New York City
- 4/2/13 - NPR-affiliate WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, interview at 11:25 a.m.
- 4/2/13 - CUNYTV's EdCast, 3 p.m.
- 4/3/13 - CBS This Morning, morning
- 4/5/13 - School Library Journal, midday
- 4/6/13 - MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Parry, interview (tentative)
- 4/4/12 - Children's Film Festival
- 4/8/13 Harvard Book Store w/Harvard School of Ed
- 4/11/13 - New Dominion Books
- Jefferson Center
- 6/18/13 - Tattered Cover LoDo
- 6/27/13 - Park Road Books
- 7/2/13 - Fountain Bookstore, 7 p.m.
Amazon Barnes and Noble Powell's
Early trade reviews are starting to come in advance of the release of John Hunter's new book, World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements:
From BookList Issue: April 1, 2013
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.
Other Trade Reviews
A veteran educator's uplifting account of how he introduced schoolchildren to global problems through a visionary game that charged them with saving the world….Inspired, breath-of-fresh-air reading, especially for those who have ever questioned what the public school system can do for American children.Kirkus
The World Peace Game devised by fourth-grade teacher John Hunter has spread from a classroom in 1978 to a documentary, a TEDTalk, the Pentagon, and now finally a book, in which he describes the ways his students have solved political and ecological crises that still loom large in the world of adults….stories are moving: a boy whose slow speech and shyness finally blooms into an epiphany; five students sacrifice themselves to take down a tyrant. Ultimately, Hunter’s optimism is infectious.– Publishers Weekly
NAIS 2012 Keynote speaker John Hunter epitomizes revolutionary teaching practices. To teach well, Hunter believes a teacher must know their subject area and themselves. Since NAIS last year, John Hunter and Jamie Baker of the Martin Institute have been traveling across the country working with teachers to reflect upon their teaching practices. Their fundamental beginning belief is that in order to grow and change, one must first be fully aware and accepting of the habits, mindsets, and assumptions that ground one's current practice. Their second important fundamental belief is that teachers must become comfortable teaching in a dynamic environment where the future is largely unknown. Brave teaching results from a clear vision of desired outcomes and a teacher’s secure belief in his or her ability to design and lead a student’s learning process.
Hunter and Baker will be presenting at the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference in Philadelphia on Friday, March 1, 2013. Their session entitled "Developing a Reflective Teaching Practice" will guide participants through a series of reflective questions designed to surface elements of a teacher’s operating beliefs that are hindering creative, engaged, and collaborative teaching and learning design. Outcomes of this session include:
- a specific look at the World Peace Game and its learning outcomes;
- guided questioning that surfaces operating beliefs too small for brave teaching;
- specific suggestions for developing creativity in one’s teaching;
- discussion of how to use risk-taking and failure to improve one’s teaching practice.
The audio version of the book is now in production and John Hunter is narrating!
The book, World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements by John Hunter, will be published on April 2, 2013. Following the tremendous success and reach of the film by the same name and John's many appearances and speaking engagements in community events and schools across the country, the book promised to provide many more stories of children's unique and fresh perspective in solving the world's conflicts and dilemmas. John has set about the process of telling the stories of both the development and evolution of the game as well as many memorable stories of students whose growth through the experience of playing the game can give us hope that we are developing compassionate, creative, and strong leaders for tomorrow.
Pre-orders for the book are being accepted now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powell's. Order your copy below.
Teachers were prompted and inspired by John Hunter's work and teaching approach as seen in the film "World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements" yet worked to create their own best toolbox and approach based on their interests and relationship with their students and subject area.
The World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements DVD is now being sold to educational institutions along with a companion Educator's Guide.
This wonderful study guide was created by Jamie Baker of the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence. The Martin Institute is our educational partner and has been simply a godsend, ensuring that John Hunter’s work, the film, and the World Peace Game will create broad and long-lasting educational impact.
The Educator's Guide was created to inspire and support teachers in becoming creative and imaginative as they work to create a collaborative, student-centered classroom in their own educational setting. The creation of this guide to accompany the film fulfills our primary mission -- to use the film to influence, teach, and inspire present and future generations of teachers through John’s wonderful example, and thus influencing future generations of teachers and students.
I would like to extend special thanks to our educational advisors:
- Dr. Carol Tomlinson, William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations and Policy at the University of Virginia;
- Dr. Hilary Landorf, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Social Studies and Global Education and Assistant Director of the Global Awareness Program at Florida International University;
- Jay McTighe, experienced educator and noted author with Grant Wiggins of Understanding by Design and numerous other books and articles on teaching.
At this point the film is only available for purchase for the educational market, schools, and libraries. Included with this purchase are the rights to show the film to a public audience, so any school or library can make the film available for group screenings.
We have already had a few individuals purchase the film for their own child’s school, and we certainly encourage anyone interested to consider this as a way of bringing John’s influence and inspiration to their own school community.
TV Broadcast News
The film’s broadcast run on U.S. public television continues. From its initial premiere on May 1 through through October 20, the film will have achieved:
- 1608 separate telecasts on public television stations across the country
- coverage extending to 83.41% of the U.S. population
- airing in 23 of the top 25 markets, many showing the film on numerous occasions.
We’ve noticed that September has seen an increase of airings, most likely associated with the return to school.
I would like to emphasize, as a way of thanks, that the film’s presence on public television would not have been possible without the generous underwriting support from the FedEx Corporation, the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence, and additional support from the University of Memphis.
The film has expanded its international reach. Broadcasts in Romania and Hungary begin in September. Showings continue in South Korea, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and throughout the Middle East. A special screening is set for New Zealand later in 2012, and possibly in Moscow in 2013. The film continues to be presented across the country to educators and educational communities at schools and conferences.
John Hunter Teaching Teachers
John Hunter, along with Jamie Baker of the Martin Institute, traveled across the country this summer conducting Master Classes for groups of teachers. Martin Institute Master Classes with John Hunter in Charlottesville and Memphis included the opportunity for teachers to observe children playing the World Peace Game over an intensive 5-day period.
These two classes mark the first time that fellow teachers have had an opportunity to closely observe a full World Peace Game. Participating teachers were from all parts of the U.S. as well as New Zealand, Israel, Korea. and Norway. The response from class participants has been overwhelmingly positive. Again, a special thanks to our partner, the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence and Jamie Baker, who co-designed the Master Class curriculum as well as its implementation and managed the quite complicated logistics of this summer tour.
John’s work with teachers continues this fall and hopefully well into the future. It gives me a special thrill to think that the approximately 120+ teachers who participated in the Master Classes this summer will be applying John’s invaluable wisdom, experience, and compassion to their children’s learning back in their classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year.
A special thanks to all of you who have provided support throughout the life of this project. What began as just an attempt to make a local, and hopefully good, film about a great teacher and his students playing a wonderful educational exercise has really taken off, well beyond my wildest dreams. John’s TED Talk has been seen by over 600,000 individuals and we estimate that the film has been seen by well over one million viewers. No one involved in the making of this film could have imagined this result. Without your support, none of this would have happened.
If each of the 120+ educators from just this summer’s Master Classes return to their classroom and teach approximately 25 students per year, in some way John’s work will affect 3000 students just this year. Each Master Class and subsequent year of teaching, adds to this equation.
I remember saying very early in this process, well before the film was completed, let’s estimate that John and his World Peace Game has touched the lives of 40 students per year for his 30 years of teaching, or approximately 1200 individuals. What if that number was 1000 students per year? Then, 30 years of teaching would affect 30,000 children. If that number was 10,000 students per year? This would lead to 300,000 children over 30 years learning the “work of peace” through the gentle guidance of a masterful teacher.
The work has begun. Many thanks to you all.
Chris Farina – Rosalia Films