Synopses & Reviews
In John Hunters classroom, students fearlessly tackle global problems and discover surprising solutions by playing his groundbreaking World Peace Game. These kids—from high school all the way down to fourth grade, in schools both well funded and underresourced—take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military commanders. Through battles and negotiations, standoffs and summits, they strive to resolve dozens of complex, seemingly intractable real-world challenges, from nuclear proliferation to tribal warfare, financial collapse to climate change.
In World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, Hunter shares the wisdom hes gleaned from over thirty years teaching the World Peace Game. Here he reveals the principles of successful collaboration that people of any age can apply anywhere. His students show us how to break through confusion, bounce back from failure, put our knowledge to use, and fulfill our potential. Hunter offers not only a forward-thinking report from the front lines of American education, but also a generous blueprint for a world that bends toward cooperation rather than conflict. In this deeply hopeful book, a visionary educator shows us what the future can be.
"'Many people in the United States believe that low-income children can no more be expected to do well in school than ballerinas can be counted on to excel in football,' begins Washington Post education reporter Mathews (Escalante: The Best Teacher in America). He delves into the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and follows the enterprise's founders, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, from their days as young educators in the Teach for America program to heading one of the country's most controversial education programs running today. Luckily for many low-income children, Feinberg and Levin believed that with proper mentors, student incentives and unrestrained enthusiasm on the part of the teachers, some of the country's poorest children could surpass the expectations of most inner-city public schools. Mathews emphasizes Feinberg and Levin's personal stakes in the KIPP program, as they often found themselves becoming personally involved with the families of their students (in one case Feinberg took the TV away from a student's apartment because the student's mother insisted that she could not stop her child from watching it). Mathews innate ability to be at once observer and commentator makes this an insightful and enlightening book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A grand example of humanitarianism in the classroom: Naysayers who believe there's no hope for America's inner-city schools haven't met Feinberg and Levin." Kirkus Reviews
When Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin signed up for Teach for America right after college and found themselves utter failures in the classroom, they vowed to remake themselves into superior educators. They did that — and more. In their early twenties, by sheer force of talent and determination never to take no for an answer, they created a wildly successful fifth-grade experience that would grow into the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), which today includes sixty-six schools in nineteen states and the District of Columbia.
KIPP schools incorporate what Feinberg and Levin learned from America's best, most charismatic teachers: lessons need to be lively; school days need to be longer (the KIPP day is nine and a half hours); the completion of homework has to be sacrosanct (KIPP teachers are available by telephone day and night). Chants, songs, and slogans such as "Work hard, be nice" energize the program. Illuminating the ups and downs of the KIPP founders and their students, Mathews gives us something quite rare: a hopeful book about education.
Award-winning teacher and high-profile public speaker John Hunter offers insights into conflict resolution and collective problem-solving gleaned from his many years teaching kids through the "world peace game," an innovative global systems simulation he created.
About the Author
A native Virginian and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, JOHN HUNTER is an award-winning teacher and educational consultant. Hunter led his first sessions of the World Peace Game at Richmond Community High School in 1978. Since then, he has taught the game successfully in a variety of settings, from public schools in Virginia and Maryland to a session with Norwegian students sponsored by the European Youth Initiative. He has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Googles Palo Alto campus, the Pentagon, the United Nations, and elsewhere. His March 2011 TED talk was greeted with a standing ovation, and Arianna Huffington and Chris Anderson named it the No. 1 talk of TED 2011.