World peace, mastered by 4th-graders

Children in a classroom working on the World Peace Game

COMPASSION: John Hunter’s students learn how to
collaborate in the World Peace Game. Photo Credit: Will May

No challenge is too big for John Hunter’s fourth-grade students — even achieving world peace. Their tool is the World Peace Game, an innovative geo-political simulation game John developed that tasks students with tackling international crises and creating solutions to save the world. Students role play as presidents, diplomats, and military commanders to negotiate and collaborate their way to resolution.

The World Peace Game is 35 years in the making, and now John is telling stories from the front lines in his new book, “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements,” released last week. He recounted some of the most memorable stories when we interviewed him for our blog.

It was a true pleasure to talk to John, and we think you’ll enjoy listening in. You’ll get to

John Hunter

INNOVATOR: John Hunter, author of “World Peace
and Other 4th-Grade Achievements”

hear John talk about:

  • What the World Peace Game is
  • Why and how John created the World Peace Game
  • How the World Peace Game continues to stay with John’s students years after they’ve played it
  • Why John decided use a game to teach educational and life skills
  • How the World Peace Game carries students through the seven stages of learning
  • John’s most memorable teaching moment with the World Peace Game
  • If John believes we really can achieve world peace

The transcript is also available below.

The book was born from the growing attention John has received for the World Peace Game over the past few years. Filmmaker Chris Farina discovered it in 2010 and made a documentary, also titled “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements.” The film was seen by viewers around the world, and led John Hunter to give a TEDTalk in 2011. That has sparked many other major speaking engagements on the World Peace Game, including at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Pentagon, and the United Nations.

Cover of World Peace and other 4th Grade Achievements

John shares many stirring ideas and inspirational insights in our interview, and leaves us with the thought that while knowledge is important for affecting positive change in the world, so, too, is compassion, and we as educators have a special opportunity to impart that to our students.

Thanks, John, for joining us!


Janelle: Greetings everyone. I am Janelle Kozyra, a blogger for Post University. Today we have on the line with us John Hunter. And John is an acclaimed teacher and educational consultant. He is perhaps most famous for the creation of the World Peace Game, which he developed and has taught his 4th- and 5th- grade students for the past 35 years.

The game didn’t garner international attention, though, until a few years ago in 2010, when filmmaker Chris Farina discovered the game, and, fascinated by it, made the documentary entitled, “World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements.”

The film was seen by viewers around the world and led John to give a TED Talk in 2011. That has sparked many other major speaking engagements around the world, including at the Aspen Ideas festival, the Pentagon, and the United Nations.

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