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July 5, 2013

John Hunter’s Wisdom… More Than Just the Game

WPYou might have seen John Hunter on television or heard him on a couple Edrech podcasts or viewed the documentary. Maybe you visited the World Peace Game website. All of these resources communicate the wonderful collaboration, reflection, problem solving and critical thinking that John’s students experience by playing the game.

Your next step is to read the book.

John delves into the individual stories of his students and their learning. It is astonishing how much the students experience through the World Peace game. Gaming is growing as a pedagogical technique for good reason and John just nails it with his multilevel game board that allows students over many weeks to “not know” as they wonder, speculate, search and face failure while not being not be pushed into as John says “instant answers”. The students develop what John terms their “intellectual stamina” as they go in and out of negotiations and planning sessions that take lots of time and processing to find potential answers to complex problems.

The World Peace Game reminds me of the experiential learning that I went through in my youth while taking an Outward Bound course. While there were many activities to experience that pushed everyone out of their comfort zones and regular way of thinking, there was also time set aside for the processing and reflection that goes with deep learning. John stresses the importance of open time and “empty spaces” for his students as well.

A huge bonus in reading the book is that John provides so much wisdom about learning and life. I found myself constantly stopping throughout the book to have many “aha” moments thanks to John’s teaching that reminds the reader to think about one’s mindset and how to broaden our perspectives to gain more understanding.

Thanks John for continuing to be my teacher. I will be sharing your book with my sons.

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