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World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements [Audio]


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The World Peace Game devised by fourth-grade teacher Hunter has spread from a classroom in 1978 to a documentary, a TEDTalk, the Pentagon, and now finally a book, in which he describes the ways his students have solved political and ecological crises that still loom large in the world of adults. The World Peace Game presents a microcosm of the larger world: four nations, each with its own wealth, ethnic, and natural resource profile; a "religious island tribe" and a "nomadic desert clan"; a United Nations and World Bank; and a "weather god or goddess" who oversees matters of chance. To these, Hunter adds a web of interconnected crises, all of which must be solved-and all nations increased in net worth-to declare the game won. Those hoping to observe an entire game play-by-play will be disappointed; instead, Hunter provides anecdotes from a variety of sessions to illustrate his larger points, most importantly the "empty space" he wants to create for student reflections. Though Hunter has a tendency to repeat himself, some stories are moving: a boy whose slow speech and shyness finally blooms into epiphany; five students sacrifice themselves to take down a tyrant. Ultimately, Hunter's optimism is infectious. Agent: Cynthia Cannell, Cynthia Cannell Literary. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Fourth-grade teacher and educational consultant Hunter developed the World Peace Game, a program that teaches students new ways to find solutions to the world's greatest political and ecological challenges. Hunter, who achieved global recognition and snowballing popularity after a documentary about his work led to a TEDTalk, engages both kids and adults in finding solutions to global problems, starting in the classroom. Although Hunter's work is innovative and often inspiring, his ideas about education presented in this book are not particularly novel. Verdict Readers will not find here practical assistance for implementing Hunter's program themselves or defending its quiet outcomes in a results-oriented education system. Nor will they find new stories about the World Peace Game, as Hunter's writing here is another record of the results he has previously shared elsewhere. The project itself is worthy of looking into but recommended in other formats.-Anna Berger, Piper City, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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