Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Three Cups of Tea - The Value of Education

"Tell us, if there were one thing we could do for your village, what would it be?"
"With all do respect, Shahib, you have little to teach us in strength and toughness. And we don't
envy you tour restless spirits. Perhaps we are happier than you? But we would like our children
to go to school. Of all things you have, learning is the one we most desire for our children."
           -Conversation between Sir Edmund Hillary and Urkien Sherpa,
from Schoolhouse in the Clouds-

The inspiring account of one man's campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia

In 1993 Greg Mortenson was the exhausted survivor of a failed attempt to ascend K2, an American climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of an impoverished Pakistani village, Mortenson promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time—Greg Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban.

Award-winning journalist David Oliver Relin has collaborated on this spellbinding account of Mortenson's incredible accomplishments in a region where Americans are often feared and hated. In pursuit of his goal, Mortenson has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, repeated death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself. At last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world—one school at a time.   – Book Cover-

Five years ago a student gave me the book Three Cups of Tea. He felt that I would appreciate Greg Mortenson's single minded quest to provide education to the marginalized populations throughout the
Karakoram Himalaya.

The book begins with a chapter on "Failure"and follows a thread of the value of education that includes insight into how the lack of education around the world is a greater threat to our national security than WMDs or Oil. Greg Mortenson's journey provides a multitude of opportunities for cross curricular education including:

Education               Prejudice             Global Perspectives                   War                       Economics           U.S. image in the World
Culture                   Geography           Mideast Politics
Communication       Government      Goals                                                  Commitment           Terrorism            Patriotism
World Hunger        Service               World Religions
Health Care            Injustice              Peace

This list is just a partial list of the topics that teachers and students will find common ground to discuss in regards to this text.

The Three Cups of Tea  http://www.threecupsoftea.com/  and CAI http://www.ikat.org/ websites offer, educational support materials including lesson plans, handouts and video clips for all grade levels.

No comments: