The World Peace Game creator speaks during annual Pathways to Peace lecture

Renowned educator and author John Hunter shares wisdom on learning, failure and compassion KENNESAW…

Georgia (Mar 6, 2014)Renowned educator and author John Hunter shares wisdom on learning, failure and compassion

KENNESAW, Ga.  (March 6, 2014) —John Hunter, a renowned educator and author of World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, shared his wisdom on learning, failure and compassion during his lecture as part of the annual Pathways to Peace series on March 5. 

“Instead of imagining what your life could be like, imagine what your life will be like,” said Hunter, a Virginia educator and creator of “The World Peace Game,” a hands-on geopolitical simulation for children.

Hunter shared stories of his upbringing in a rural Virginia school and being one of the first black students chosen to move to an integrated school in the 1960s. He spoke during the fourth annual Pathways to Peace lecture series, a collaboration of the American Democracy Project, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Peace Studies program, the University College and the Michael J. Coles College of Business.

In 1978, as a teacher of gifted students, Hunter developed “The World Peace Game,” a hands-on geopolitical simulation that gives young players the opportunity to explore the interconnectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. Hunter has used the four-tier, plexiglass tower each year in his fourth-grade classroom, where the children spend six to eight weeks playing the complex game.

The 9- and 10-year-old students are assigned to work as prime ministers, secretaries of state and military strategists for the game’s fictional countries. Together, students must handle 50 global problems and raise the asset value of their countries. 

“It’s a deeper level of critical thinking,” Hunter said. “Students do best when they allow their collective wisdom to work.”  Hunter said the best part is when the students realize that they are playing against the game, not against each other. Hunter said they quickly learn about the compassion of others.

A few years ago, Hunter’s class was invited to the Pentagon to meet with top Department of Defense leaders. According to Hunter, five-star generals wanted to talk about strategies, tactics and policies with his fourth graders.

“They asked the children about their biggest challenge and questioned the children on ‘how do you not have to go to war,’” said Hunter. “For these men, they are suffering, having been at war for more than 10 years. They know how to make war, but they wanted to know how to prevent it.”

A documentary based on Hunter’s book, World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, shows the eight-week transformation his public school students encountered as they learned to collaborate, compromise and communicate to resolve the game’s conflicts, and discovered that they share a deep interest in taking care of each other and the world.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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