4th Graders can solve World Peace! Can we?

Posted on November 13, 2016 by Dr. Lynda

What if the goal of education was to create really wonderful human beings? Here’s a game and an ingenious teacher who is doing just that by letting 9-year-olds solve the problem of world peace!

The World Peace Game takes 9 and 10-year-olds and gives them real world problems to solve. Over the course of 8 weeks, they work in teams around a highly complex, 4 story game. And the best part? They have been coming up with solutions repeatedly for two decades!

Image: Teacher John Hunter playing world peace game with students
Source: Podkast Infomedia

Grappling with the big issues like world peace, climate change or the spread of ISIS seems to be challenged by our common impulses of compassion versus fear. So how do we get through the risks of collaboration and compromise?

This is one of the most transforming and optimistic social experiments we have ever heard about.

First up, a trailer for a film that has taken the world of diplomacy and education by surprise. Take a short look at where we are going today:

Fascinating! I could not believe the insight and maturity of these young people! Most importantly, did you notice how their deep interest in taking care of each other seemed to emerge?

Did we all have that level of self-reflection and we lost it?

Is this an exercise we can scale or is it dependent upon the loving, wise teacher who developed it, John Hunter.

Here’s his amazing, long-celebrated TED Talk. (What a wonderful, gentle man.)

Via: TED 2

This is such an extraordinary revelation. I watch these kids question their own impulses and collaborate with such earnest good intentions and I really wonder if we all start out with that level of insight.

If not, then how do we explain their wisdom?

Something to consider as we struggle through the next chapter as a small, spinning blue planet.

The entire version of the film World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements is available through Vimeo On Demand. I think I’ll save some money one night and stay in with a bowl of popcorn. I know I’m sure to come away even more transformed by the possibilities here!

Stay open, curious and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda

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