Thursday, May 19, 2011

Playing to Learn

"The work will teach you how to do it." 
Estonian Proverb

New Teacher (just hired for first job - teaching gifted children): "What do I do?"
School Administrator: "What do you want to do?"

John Hunter was that new teacher, back in 1978, and that administrator's response "set the template for the entire career [he] was to have after that." It provided him space to explore - space that he decided to pass along to his learners as they tried to create meaning of the world. To that end, he created an activity, The World Peace Game, intended to help players "explore the connectedness of the global community..." This has been documented in the film World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements by Chris Farina and in the following TED Talk:

What would happen if all teachers were offered the opportunity to answer the question: "What do you want to do?" Can you imagine what people might learn?

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