School slide show presentations


'Bernie Howgate's lessons not so much an education, more an entertainment'

The Times Educational Supplement, ENGLAND


The picture on the wall of the assembly hall shows a small child having his head examined for lice. Bernard Howgate conducting this afternoon's slide show and talk, demonstrates by scratching at his bush of unruly hair, how he, too, looked for lice when traveling through Asia. " Suddenly, I found this little thing moving. I grabbed it wi' me fingers, took a look and popped it in my mouth".

There is a gasp of amazement, shrieks of ugggggh from the children. A broad grin spreads across Bernie's face. " Just joking. I just wanted to see if you were all still awake ".

The picture is replaced with a shot of plates loaded with Indian food: chapatis, rice and vegetables, somosas, spicy snacks and this time there is a cacophony of eating sounds from the audience. " Who knows the name of these foods ? Who knows how they are made ? how many of you tried them ? ". Hands shoot up, answers are fielded, then he's off again. " See this painted bus, how do you think they painted all that detail? How would you do it ? Would you like to ride in it ? Then go to Pakistan ! ".

Amhurst Junior School in North London is one of more than 400 schools in Britain to have employed Bernie Howgate to spend a day giving his exuberant, anecdotal impressions of the years he spent traveling on a bicycle through countries across the globe and to show his selection of 3,000 slides. His journeying took him to Africa and Asia, the United States of America and North America to South East Asia and Antarctica.

He is an improbable person to find on the menu in schools as varied as the smart private prep and maintained both schools in urban areas or in the most deprived city areas. He has no formal teaching qualifications and he admits to have avoided education at school, but he is strikingly informed and informative with the materials he delivers to children. His schools programs have been constructed around the idea that children should be able to follow up what he shows with work of their own.

His style is more of a music hall entertainer than pedagogue, an impression added to by the scream of consciousness presentation, delivered in his raw Northern England accent. He sports an immaculately constructed hippie look: shoulder length hair styled circa 1965, a viva Zapata mustache and careless clothes. The much traveled bicycle accompanies him as a prop. It is a style which keeps some 150 young children rapt for two hours and which has pleased enough schools for him to be invited back, repeatedly to some, while his engagement book has been more or less full for the past two years.

" I see my role as interesting children in something outside their experience and providing entertainment which is also informative. But I don't see myself as an educator and I am not trying to be dogmatic or prove theories. I try to work with teachers so that they can use what has been seen as they wish. I discuss my programs with them before going in, if that is what they want, and I go back sometimes to follow up on work they have done, or I might help to organize follow-up work. For example, I have slides of children making toys with wire and other materials which children copy with recycled material found at home. Teachers in other schools had children making model villages based on what I had showed them".

A great deal of artwork has come out of Bernie's visits and he has organized several exhibitions entitled Tales of a Traveling Man School Art Exhibition.


Presentations will be free-ranging and cover such diverse subjects as living with Tibetans in the Himalayas to life in equatorial Africa. All aspects of every day life are covered, including transportation in Asia, village arts and crafts, market scenes, food preperation, farming & fishing, festivals, weddings, children at play, wildlife and such natural events as volcanoes and hurricanes.

Program duration can be edited down to 45 minutes to suit individual class needs or expanded to 90 minutes to suit assemblies and is suitable from grade 2 to 13.

A days visit is based on a maximum of 3 classroom programs ( 3x 45 minutes ) or two assembly programs ( 2x 90 minutes ).

A half day visit is based on a maximum of 2 classroom programs ( 2x 45 minutes ) or one assembly program ( 1x 90 minutes ).

Maximum size classroom 60 students
Maximum size assembly group 200 students
Fee structure:
  • Half day = $200.00
  • Full Day = $300.00



  1. Indian Continent and Central Africa (Based on Bernie Howgate's eight year round the world cycle trip)
  2. Journey Through Labrador (Based on Bernie Howgate's eight month snowshoe and sea kayaking trip up the Labrador coast)
  3. Canada Coast to Coast (Based on Bernie Howgate's seven month cross Canada cycle trip from Victoria, B.C. to St John's, Nfld.)



For further information on other programs, contact: