We would like to welcome Carolyn Graham back from her trip to England! She went with Dr. Don and Sharon Livingston and her MEd. class. They went there to study the differences between American education and British education. Here's what she had to say about her trip:
To begin our journey into British Education, we first took a look into the past by visiting the Ragged School Museum. The Ragged School was a name given to schools that sought to provide a free and basic education to poor children (boys at first) who were unable to pay to attend school. Their primary objective was to teach them to read and write so that they could study the Bible.
We had the privilege of living and studying for 4 days in Harlaxton College. Harlaxton is a startling confluence of a Victorian building and a modern university, of things British and of things American, of vibrant youth and graceful age. It was a great pleasure to defend my thesis there.
We visited two primary schools (what we would call an elementary school). One school was a small village school that houses approximately 70 students and has ages 5 - 11 and the other was a mid-size school, the students are ages from 3 - 11 years old. We were able to observe classes, interact with students, and talk with teachers about education.
We also visited an all boys selective Academy Grammar School which has 1000 students. The ages of the students are between 11 and 18. This is a historic school with its most famous pupil Isaac Newton. We were given a tour by an historian of the school.
Our own school system parallels the British educational system in so many ways. We encountered similar issues that we face in our own classrooms and schools. The school visits were enjoyable and informative.
Also during our trip to England, I was able to do some sightseeing. I saw the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and I had many great adventures visiting London. I also had an opportunity to spend a day in Paris; riding the Eurostar train was an adventure in itself.