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.A native Virginian and graduate of
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.”
My first job interview, I asked the supervisor, what should I do? She said 'What do you want to do?'— John Hunter at NBC's Education Nation
As a teacher, to be given that kind of open space, that kind of mandate-less position to be in where you can create out of the emptiness, it allowed me to create that kind of template for my students, where I could ask them, 'What would YOU like to do today? What is your passion? What drives you?'
If the students have the interest and you build towards that, then they can come with more passion for learning.
Notable Awards and Recognition
- John among Top 100 Ted Talk Speakers
- Common Ground Award Recipient
- Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence Fellow
- Advisor to TED-Ed
- Winner of GlobArt Award
GlobArt is a platform for men and women who are consciously active within our changing society.
- TED2011 Conference Speaker
- Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Elementary Teacher Award
Center for Global Initiatives Fellow
Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
- Red Apple Award Winner for Innovation in Education
Virginia Piedmont Technology Council (now Charlottesville Business Innovation Council)
- Philip Merrill Master Teacher Mentor
The University of Maryland
- Outstanding Teacher of the Year Grant
Metro Richmond Foundation funded a video documentary and study guides for American students comparing Japanese and African-American cultures (Tokyo, Kyoto, and Richmond, VA)
- Inaugural Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation Asian Teacher-Scholar
University of Virginia Center for the Liberal Arts