Study Guide

Three Cups of Tea Education

By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin


Think of how much of your life is spent in school. By the time you're eighteen, you've probably spent at least seventy percent of your life in school. It may seem like too much, but how would things be different if you didn't go to school and get an education? Sure, you'd have a lot more time to spend at home playing Mario Kart, but how would you get a job and make a living?

What if no one went to school? How long would it be before you were part of a country full of uneducated folks trying to cure diseases, manage finances (not that you'd have any), and run the country? That's what's happening in Pakistan in Three Cups of Tea, where Greg Mortenson is trying to build his schools. So many children don't go to school at all. And just as Whitney believed that the children are our future, if the children aren't educated, that future looks grim.

Questions About Education

  1. Why does Mortenson initially decide to start building schools to educate children in Pakistan? Is his motivation the same at the end of the book?
  2. According to Mortenson, how will education help stop, or at least slow down, the spread of terrorism in the Middle East?
  3. Why do some people, both in Pakistan and the U.S., not appreciate Mortenson's efforts to build schools?
  4. What else must Mortenson do, besides simply building buildings, to ensure that the children of Pakistan are educated?

Chew on This

This book is doubly educational: It's about building schools to further education in Pakistan and it's about educating Americans, and others around the world, about what life is really like in the Middle East.

Mortenson believes that education works best without a political or religious slant. His mission is to offer an unbiased education to children in Pakistan, strictly academic.

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