“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.” Walt Whitman
Cliché as it is, the road metaphor speaks powerfully to our need to strike out, see what we can find, and gather adventures along the way. And real education is a journey–not a destination. We don’t just arrive at quantum physics one day. It’s one point along a long mathematical trip. Young learners don’t dream of having “arrived” in their learning. “Finally, I understand the butterfly life cycle. Now I can quit chasing bugs all around,” said no 5 year-old ever.
But adult educators and education policy makers have to quantify education for many reasons—the best of which is making sure every child gets their fair share of it and the help they need to access it. As teachers we outline the curriculum, organize units, prepare for benchmarks, chart progress, and identify which students need extra help to “get there” by the end of the year.
It’s good to take a break from the stress of “getting there” and remind kids to enjoy the Road. All parents and teachers know that not all kids learn the same way. They don’t all travel at the same speed. They aren’t even all going to the same place. Expedition Education celebrates kids where they are right now. We take them on trips that reinvigorate their interest in discovering what’s along the way. We remind them how fun it can be just to see what’s out there. And then we help them figure out how it all works.