Award-winning American school teacher John Hunter has brought his innovative World Peace Game program to Australia for the first time ever this month, inspiring Australian school students and teachers to take on the complex global problems of today.
Mr Hunter has worked with over 80 Australian primary school students and teachers from more than 20 schools across the country, running two seperate World Peace Game programs – one hosted by Annesley Junior School in Adelaide, and another at Sydney’s Claremont College.
He has also worked one-on-one with Australian school teachers in intensive master classes, training them to become local facilitators for the World Peace Game program, and providing them with new techniques to engage young Australians and prepare them as future leaders in participatory democracy.
Mr Hunter said working with Australian students and teachers for the first time had proven immensely rewarding and successful.
“The children have just astounded me,” he said.
“They’ve been overwhelmed and confused, thrown into chaos, and given 50 interlocking global problems. And yet they have sorted through it in five days somehow, without help from the teachers, without my guidance.
“They’ve created coherence and function out of chaos and nothingness. It was marvellous,” he said.
The World Peace Game is a hands-on political simulation that helps students explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war.
Students wrestle with complex global problems – including war, famine, environmental catastrophe, resource shortages, and more – working together over the five-day program to negotiate innovative solutions and peaceful outcomes.
Mr Hunter said the program – which has now trained over 600 educators in 36 countries – would help these young Australians to become responsible global citizens and confident to affect positive change within their communities.
“This seed we’re planting here… we’re likely to see the growth, the blossom, the bloom, the fruit, in decades from now. So that after I’m done, they can carry on the practice.
“But we need to move faster, move more quickly. We don’t know how much time we have.”
- Find out more about John Hunter and the World Peace Game at www.worldpeacegame.org
John Hunter and the World Peace Game Foundation’s Australian tour was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Canberra