What is an Education?

“What is an education?” asks Sue Cowley, a parent and teacher, in her new book. “Is it about going to school every day, wearing the correct uniform, working hard in lessons and completing your homework? Is it about doing what your teachers tell you to, being well-behaved and compliant? Is an education about how many facts you know and can recall in exams? Or could it be something different – something that can happen out in the world, as well as in a classroom?”

Cowley has spent a lifetime in education. She trained as an early years teacher, has taught English and drama in secondary schools, worked in schools overseas, trained teachers, is an expert in behaviour management, and has written more than 25 books for teachers and parents. Then three years ago she turned her back on it. Frustrated by changes in the education system in England and the testing regime, she took her two children out of school, packed the family Audi and set off on a child-led journey across Europe and China.

The itinerary was planned around the children’s interests: dinosaurs (Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde); volcanoes (Vesuvius, near Naples); Leonardo da Vinci (The Last Supper in Milan) and giant pandas (Beijing zoo). The result was a thrilling six-month adventure, documented in her book Road School, which describes the family’s odyssey and offers a practical guide for parents on stepping out of the system and providing education on the road.

Source: The Guardian Online

by Sally Weale - Tuesday 24 January 2017