REVIEW: Beyond Tourism by Kenneth Cushner

REVIEW: Beyond Tourism by Kenneth CushnerBeyond Tourism: A Practical Guide to Meaningful Educational Travel by Kenneth Cushner
Published: Rowman & Littlefield Education (2004), Paperback, 172pg
Genres: Non-Fiction, Travel
Source: Library


Summary:

Cushner integrates current research on the intercultural experience and relates it to his personal travel experiences while providing guidelines to enable educators to integrate reflective travel as an active part of the educational experience of young people. (from Amazon)

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I picked this up last week when I was hankering for a travel book and only have historical fiction with me. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for (I thought it meant “tourism” like “adult tourists”), but it was interesting and somewhat informative. It was also convoluted and just basically read like it didn’t know what it wanted to be.

It’s supposed to be about educational tourism, specifically about how it relates to students and their teachers. Just that by itself would have been fine (if kinda boring), but Mr Cushner adds in personal anecdotes and a few bits of statistical info. Okay, now, that sounds alright on the surface, but it never actually tied everything together as neatly as I’ve made it sound. It would have been immensely better if it had been either an academic study on education tourism, etc etc, or a personal story about one teacher who used educational tourism in his curriculum.

Because Mr Cushner tries to mesh the two, it makes the book both boring and interesting by turns. I was way more interested in his life as a teacher using e.t. in his classroom than I was by the statistics, but if I was trying to read it as an academic study I would have been disappointed there, too. The academic part was just as as lacking as the personal part. It just didn’t flow well, and the disparity between the stats/personal stuff was jarring.

Admittedly I skimmed through most of the statistic stuff, but I did manage to glean what I think the book is actually supposed to be about: how visiting other countries, living with its people, and integrating that into one’s worldview is a wonderful, necessarily thing for today’s kids. Broadening horizons, and all that.

Read: February 5-6, 2010

One Comment

  1. I always regretted not doing one of those ten countries in two weeks sort of European trips that everyone else seems to have done in high school. Not because I think that’s a good way to see the world, but because I think that would have made me much more comfortable, as an adult, traveling to those countries. You know, because I’d already have been exposed to them. As it is I am very nervous traveling on my own to strange places – I was in England for a year and didn’t even go to France! 🙁

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