John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages school kids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.
Sometimes it takes a child speaking the truth to point out the ludicrous faults of the adult world. Watch them take on the role of the most powerful leaders and see what happens.
I came to this region of the world not knowing what to expect. I had very little knowledge of the area, rather on purpose. I came with an open mind as much as possible. I came to see.
There is a cartoon character whose name is Handala. The reader never sees his face because he is always watching, looking into the cartoon. He does other things sometimes but mostly he just watches, with his hands behind his back. In Palestine, mostly, I watched and listened to see what was happening.
A painting of Handala, on a wall in Nablus. Continue reading
Irena Knezevic was one of the students in the PeaceMeal Project‘s first cohort of students for the online course offered through the National Peace Academy. Here, she describes her work with FoodARC and a presentation she gave to tie in her learning from the course with her professional life in food security research.
FoodARC is a food security research centre at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (We were formerly known as the Participatory Action Research and Training Centre on Food Security.) Our research is community-based and action oriented. We also train students and create opportunities for mutual learning among researchers, community members, and policy makers.
Friday, September 21, was International Day of Peace, a day of nonviolence and cease-fire declared by the United Nations. I was subbing for an ESL class in the afternoon, so I thought I would prepare some peace-related vocabulary and idioms for our lesson.
To start the lesson, I asked the students (an intermediate-level class) what they thought peace means. One said the time after a war, and another said friendship and harmony between people, and also an inner sense of calm. I had printed an online definition of peace – to my surprise, there were 17 total definitions of peace! We reviewed and talked about the definitions, found some new vocabulary words within the definitions (such as antagonistic, anxiety, lucidity) and discussed phrases like “rest in peace.”
Somehow, at some point, we began talking about food. I think it was actually a side tangent – one of the students mentioned that she didn’t like to cook, which then led to the topic of organic food and GMOs. It just so happened that I had also printed an article from Breaking News English that talked about the recent Stanford study that claims that organically grown food is no more nutritious than conventionally grown food. We read and discussed the article, with the students largely disagreeing with the study’s findings.
Class time was up. We didn’t have time to finish the peace definitions. As she was getting up to leave, one student commented, “What a funny class! We started out talking about peace and ended up talking about food!”
I told her about PeaceMeal, saying that this progression of discussion made perfect sense to me. And hopefully it will lead us in a new direction for next week 🙂