As I sat there, I was so pleased we had got to go to the top of the Monument and see everything DC had to offer. As I thought about the journey up to the top and then back down something struck me about what the ranger said in the elevator on the way back down. He said, "if you don't know much about George Washington, then its not an issue, but you may want to take some time to go find out some things about him when you leave here today to understand his affect on American history". As I pondered the rangers (wise) words, I could not help wondering if what I was doing was wrong. I was simply running around trying to see as many sights as possible just so that I could 'tick the box' and that I had 'been there'. What is wrong with this you might ask? In addition, what the heck has this got to do about physical education?
Well my answer is quite easy. Are there times in education where we simply rush learners through the curriculum so they can, like I was doing, get to see all the sights? I would argue, yes. Is education simply about running people through a curriculum, a rite of passage so to speak? Many might say 'yes', but I am sure many would also say 'no'. Education cannot simply about 'getting people through the curriculum' or around all the sights. There must be times for reflection, pauses for contemplation, debate, discussion, further reading and critique in order to simulate higher order thinking and a greater depth of learning. Only then, to me, are we truly educating people and stopping our learners being merely a (not very good) 'tourist', like I was in DC this past weekend.