A native Virginian and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, John Hunter is an award-winning gifted teacher and educational consultant who has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. Employing his background as a musician composer and filmmaker during a three-decade career as a teacher, Hunter has combined his gifted teaching and artistic talents to develop unique teaching programs using multimedia software programs in creative writing and film courses.
During his university years, he traveled and studied comparative religions and philosophy throughout Japan, India and China. It was while in India, the cradle of Ghandian thought, Hunter, intrigued by the principles of non-violence, began to think of how his profession might contribute to peace in the world.
Knowing that ignoring violence would not make it go away, how could he teach peace in an often-violent world? Accepting the reality of violence, he would seek to incorporate ways to explore harmony in various situations. This exploration would take form in the framework of a game – something that students would enjoy. Within the game data space, they would be challenged, while enhancing collaborative and communication skills.
In 1978, at the Richmond Community High School, Hunter led the first sessions of his World Peace Game. Over time, in a synchronous unfolding with the growing global focus on increasingly complex social and political conditions, the game has gained new impetus. As Hunter succinctly explains, "The World Peace Game is about learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown."
I was thinking of retiring, after a full career in teaching primarily identified gifted children. One fall day, an independent filmmaker, Chris Farina, shows up in my 4th grade classroom, just to watch an activity I invented over 30 years earlier. Chris falls in love with idea, stays and makes a beautiful documentary film about the art of teaching, really. We were completely stunned at its international reception, and it has propelled us, like a rocket, on tour and landed us on the TED stage. We thought the film might end up on local television in our small town of Charlottesville, Virginia. Now look what happened! I think I better go sit down.
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