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Verita organized World Peace Games Master Class for the first time in Romania

John Hunter The World Peace Game

Hurricanes, refugee asylum, food shortages and the threat of war — it’s the kind of things you hear about on national news. But during the last week in June, Lowcountry students are learning how to achieve world peace while responding to those challenges.

The World Peace Game teaches children the work of peace, and shows that it is an attainable goal to strive for.

Verita students and teachers participated in the World Peace Game Master Class, where 4th – 7th grade students pretend to be prime ministers, cabinet members, United Nations officials, arms dealers and more. The primary goal is to teach Verita educators how to lead the game during their own classes.

The nearly 40-year-old game was led by its creator, John Hunter – a teacher, author and TED talk presenter. It’s been utilized in classrooms across the globe, and even in the U.S. State Department.

Teachers observe Hunter facilitating the Game live with students each morning. Afternoon sessions focus on introducing educators to things like:

  • The guiding philosophy and pedagogical principles that underlie the Game
  • Identifying the essential attributes necessary to facilitate the Game through a series of reflective questions and activities
  • Designing learning that is inspired by the principles and spirit of the game

 

MEET JOHN HUNTER

Teacher, Speaker

A native Virginian and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, John Hunter is an award-winning gifted teacher and educational consultant who has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. Employing his background as a musician composer and filmmaker during a three-decade career as a teacher, Hunter has combined his gifted teaching and artistic talents to develop unique teaching programs using multimedia software programs in creative writing and film courses.

ABOUT THE GAME

The World Peace Game is a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention. As “nation teams,” students will gain greater understanding of the critical impact of information and how it is used.

As their teams venture further into this interactive social setting laced with highly charged philosophical issues, the skills needed to identify ambiguity and bias in the information they receive will be enhanced and more specifically they will rapidly perceive that reactive behavior not only provokes antagonism, it can leave them alone and isolated in the face of powerful enemies. Beliefs and values will evolve or completely unravel as they begin to experience the positive impact and windows of opportunity that emerge through effective collaboration and refined communication.

In essence, as meaning is constructed out of chaos and new creative solutions are proposed, World Peace Game players will learn to live and work comfortably at the frontiers of the unknown.

CORE PRINCIPLES

As an educational tool, the World Peace Game is based on several key concepts, including :

Contradictory elements can and should co-exist
Deliberate creation of an overwhelming sense of diverse complexity or fostering, in other words…chaos
Team-based solutions formed by deliberate pressures (i.e. deadlines), and a sense of urgency
The encouragement of complex problem solving in simultaneously collaborative, yet apparently competitive scenarios
Stimulating the development of genuine empathy and compassion by making the stakes high
Promoting the ability to hold and maintain multiple perspectives around an issue simultaneously, while withholding judgment

Slowing down the problem solving process, provides:

Depth over time – Stimulation of, and support for, long-term thinking
Increase in possible solutions
Appreciation of complexity, rather than denial or fear of life’s intricacies
Promote critical thinking via:

Discerning the natural inherent complexity and simplicity mixture in life
Directly engaging with complexity vs. avoiding or parsing–Facing the “Is-ness” directly
Promoting non-attachment to currently appearing phenomena. The acceptance of impermanence as a part of normal existence
Revelation of personal inherent skills in crisis simulations
The ability to cultivate and maintain acute problem-solving skills over time
Facilitation of Self-Reflective awareness through Self-Evident Assessment (SEA) an internalized evaluation
Creation of a reflective thinking log for exploration of personal mind habits
Showing, understanding, and appreciating the value of non-measurable outcomes.
Extrapolation of actions/reactions in multiple directions/levels/dimensions at once
No experts- Allowing expertise to arise as things change
Luxury to fail through support for learning “how to fail, to ultimately succeed”
Flexibility of thinking and attitudes
Elaboration to enrich basic ideas

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