Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. — Nelson Mandela
Education is crucially important to a society — no one disputes that except the uneducated. Ask any ten people how students should be educated and you'll probably get ten different answers. And most of them are usually correct. Broadly-speaking, there are three styles of education in American schools today: auditory learning, teachers delivering lectures; visual learning, students looking at pictures, graphs and diagrams; and kinesthetic learning, using all five senses in the education process. Most secondary education is a blend of the first two, while the third usually stops after elementary school.
Kinesthetic education should be a part of high school education alongside auditory and visual learning. Some students learn best by hearing material and others by seeing it. But kinesthetics draws upon all five senses and maximizes the educational process. It is part of the curriculum in some schools, usually private or "gifted" public institutions, but the vast majority of high schools lack the time, the funding, or the motivation to incorporate a whole new learning style. This is where AET hopes to step in and complement traditional classroom education.
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. — Plutarch
Academic Excellence in Travel exists to make education personal. We hope to come alongside teachers and offer a new style of learning that will accomplish three goals:
We incorporate all styles of learning in our tours. During a trip, participants will read and/or hear lectures in preparation for the day's travel (auditory learning). While at a site, whether a battlefield or a museum, they will have the chance to interact physically and verbally with the subject matter (visual and kinesthetic learning).
We improve retention of what students have previously learned. Again building on classroom instruction, our tours allow participants to see firsthand what they once had only read about or seen in pictures. Whether the subject is art, history, music or literature, they will literally walk in the footsteps of those who went before.
We ignite a passion for learning in our students. As Robert M. Hutchins (dean of Yale Law School and chancellor of the University of Chicago) once said, "The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." We know that learning doesn't stop after we walk out of the school doors. AET seeks to make learning fun and to build a passion for it that will continue long after our students have left us.
Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence. — Abigail Adams
What truly sets AET apart from other educational travel companies is our focus on a specific topic or field of study. Anyone can jump in a car or board a plane and travel hoping to learn something. But every aspect of an AET tour, from the pre-trip reading material to interactions with locals to discussions after a day's travel reinforces the learning process. We never teach our students what to think but rather how to think. We want them to use their minds to squeeze every ounce of learning from our tours as they can, not simply let them wander free and hope to learn something along the way.
AET's founder and president, Jon Streeter, has a personal experience with the power of kinesthetic education. Read about it here.