World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements

Today I saw a wonderful TED Talk by John Hunter about his World Peace Game.

I left a comment on the TED site after I had seen the talk. I decided that I would upload the inspiring trailer to the film “World Peace and other 4th grade achievements”  that John tells us about in his talk.  I think that the  points that I make in my comment about the validity of this approach can be clearly seen.Here is true learning going on and John is truly an inspiring teacher.

Here is my comment with slight alterations for this post:

Firstly, I loved the talk, it made me proud to be a teacher and left me with the wish that I had had the courage to try and do the kind of learning experiences for my children that John Hunter set up for the children who had the fortune to be in his classes doing this really interesting World Peace Game.

Secondly, the discussion in the comments that I have just read in many ways reflects the arguments that are going on in the U.S.A. and other countries about the value of direct instruction in a tight, tested curriculum as against an open enquiry/project based approach that can be seen in John Hunter’s talk. (and the video above)

As a politics student at university I remember playing a game called “Diplomacy” in my International Relations course. Our lecturer was a young Harvard PhD student who was a visiting lecturer at Warwick University by the name of Mike Doyle ( now a professor of International Relations at Columbia University). Mike said that he wanted us to play the game to get a feel for what the theory was all about and to try and understand what shaped the thinking of the players in the international community. I remember that the game sessions gave me the best insight into the complexity of international relations than any textbook ever did and that I found it amongst the most inspiring events of my undergraduate years.

I therefore applaud John Hunter for his courage in allowing his charges to try and understand and to think and feel for themselves. I know that there are arguments in the comments about assessment of the game but I go along with those who say that the things the children get out of it are multi-layered and complex and are about wisdom, collaboration, the ability to speak and listen clearly and most importantly the ability to think.

Thanks TED for yet another inspiring talk.

I will be adding this as my nineteenth Top Ted Talk.

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4 Responses

  1. Definitely one of the best TED Talks ever and an amazing way to teach school kids.

  2. I was inspired, I am not a teacher, but for a moment I could see how great teachers like John Hunter will reshape tomorrows world.

    I hope that one of these kids grows up and becomes an important figure in the political arena.

  3. Terrific review! This is exactly the type of post that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the Yahoo for not ranking this post higher!

  4. What a great way to teach students. A great tool to use when teaching students about culture around the world is the Habitat for Humanity website. They offer lesson plans, worksheets, assessments, and online courses teaching kids about housing issues around the world. For more information please go here:http://www.habitat.org/youthprograms/parent_teacher_leader/hfhlessons.aspx

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