“The teacher certification monopoly has nothing whatsoever to do with the mastery of an intellectual discipline.  Indeed every year, many competent people are denied admission to the business or forced out of it because they know too much.” 

John Taylor Gatto, American author and school teacher who taught in the classroom for nearly 30 years

As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, one of Community Dining’s new initiatives will focus on discussions revolving around film screenings that stimulate conversation about insufficiently explored topics and challenge people to view these topics through a new paradigm.  I put thought into the selection of each film to ensure it is entertaining and intellectually challenging and has broad appeal. 

This next film I have chosen will be World Peace and other Fourth Grade Achievements.  

Extended Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCq8V2EhYs0

Entire film:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cuNDqdnZu4

Teaching with the World Peace Game TED Talk:  https://www.ted.com/talks/john_hunter_on_the_world_peace_game?language=en

“In John Hunter’s 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 he’s 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 audiobook, a visionary educator shows us what the future can be.”

I chose this film because it so adeptly explores such a wide range of topics and questions like:

What level of cooperation and problem solving skills do children inherently possess?

How do the skills children learn playing this game compare and contrast to those they typically learn in public school?

Can teachers actually achieve more effective results by simply creating an environment that allows students to engage in self-directed learning rather than disseminating information and dictating how and when students should respond?

What is the purpose of schooling and how does schooling differ from education?