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Shane Freeman

Shane Freeman's Public Library

Dec 19, 14

"In April 2011, TED sponsored a talk with John Hunter – a man of many talents. This teacher, musician, filmmaker, and game designer, who took a job in an experimental education school during the 1970s, created a classroom activity – the World Peace Game – that invited students to grapple with complex problems, take intellectual risks, create partnerships with classmates, support all claims, and examine the question of morality. Hunter best describes the game starting at the seventh minute of the video. As Hunter puts it, he places students into a complex, interactive matrix that is constructed upon a whole series of interlocking problems. If you are not quite sure what this means just think of someone inviting you to play a very complicated board game. Prior to the start of the World Peace Game, students are assigned different roles. Hunter appoints a Prime Minister but they can choose their own cabinet. In the game there is a World Bank, United Nations, and Arms Dealer, among other things. There are four countries in the game and as a class they can name them. Hunter explains the rules of this game and gives his students a thirteen-page crisis document with interlocking problems – problems like nuclear proliferation, environmental disaster, global warming, and ethnic tensions, among other issues – and challenges his students to recognize that if you make one decision it will inevitably change all other decisions. Immediately before Hunter rings the bell, which signals the start of the game, he sincerely apologizes to his class telling them, “We have left this world in such a sad and terrible shape. We hope you can fix it for us. Maybe this game will show you how to do that.”"

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