A wonderful talk by John Hunter, a teacher in the US who described his use of an in-class game with 4th Graders (along with lots of other commentary about progressive teaching)
Describing the 'World Peace Game' he uses in his 4th Grade class, he says "I throw them into this complex matrix, and they trust me because we have a deep, rich relationship together." Sounds like my kind of guy.
"I walked in, and I sat down and had an interview. And I guess they were hard up for teachers, because the supervisor, her name was Anna Aro, said I had the job teaching gifted children. And I was so shocked, so stunned, I got up and said, "Well, thank you, but what do I do?" Gifted education hadn't really taken hold too much. There weren't really many materials or things to use. And I said, "What do I do?" And her answer shocked me. It stunned me. Her answer set the template for the entire career I was to have after that. She said, "What do you want to do?" And that question cleared the space. There was no program directive, no manual to follow, no standards in gifted education in that way. And she cleared such a space, that I endeavored from then on to clear a space for my students, an empty space, whereby they could create and make meaning out of their own understanding. …
I was creating a lesson for students on Africa. We put all the problems of the world there, and I thought, let's let them solve it. I didn't want to lecture or have just book reading. I wanted to have them be immersed and learn the feeling of learning through their bodies."