Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Holiday Celebrations
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Author:  Anna Gay [ Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Holiday Celebrations

We just celebrated Thanksgiving and are coming up on Christmas. My question for you guys is, what level of celebration of holidays is appropriate in your classroom? Would you limit it to holidays that you personally celebrate? Would you celebrate holidays at all? What about focusing on holidays and their origin?

Personally, I think that a great example for us of this is the way that Dr. Turner has handled our calendar on our syllabus. There are holidays listed on there that include various religions and personal preferences. I think that as teachers, we need to be mindful of all of the holidays that are out there and maybe using American traditions as a way to introduce other holidays and traditions in other places. What do you guys think?

Author:  Clay Moore [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:11 am ]
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Holidays are a big part of everyones culture. I don't think celebrations need to be taken out of the classroom at all but a scaled down version may be more suitable. A holiday would be a good time for students to learn about other cultures and how they celebrate as well as why they celebrate this particular event. If there are some students in your class who celebrate holidays other than traditional american holidays it may be a good opportunity for you to let them share the typical celebration activities and have a scaled down version in your class. This way the class can learn and have fun at the same time while no student's religious preferences/practices are left out.

Author:  Emily Fox [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:21 pm ]
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I agree with Clay. I think holidays are a great way to introduce a new culture or topic in say, a social studies class or something. It would also be great in a foreign language class to celebrate a holiday from that culture. I had a Spanish class in high school in which we celebrated Dio de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) and learned how the culture celebrated it. It was a fun way to learn.

The classroom is the place to learn and what better way to learn than through experience? Experiencing new holidays and celebrations are a great way to have hands-on experience. The students, nor do you, have to necessarily participate in the beliefs of the holiday, but you can explain what people of a particular culture or group believe.

Author:  CaseyDavis [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:22 pm ]
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I believe that it is great to incorporate many different cultures holidays within the classroom as well. If there are different beliefs in the class, you could have them to include the holidays that their families celebrate in a certain month. A large calendar could be kept in the room, or just being aware of when certain holidays are would certainly help students feel as if you are trying to get to know them better and appreciate them I believe. Also, these different holidays could bring in wonderful learning experiences for everyone as well.

Author:  Lianna Beard [ Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:52 pm ]
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Another fun alternative is for a year long holiday project to be in operation. Each student would pick a holiday that is affiliated with a culture that they do not belong to. Each student would research their holiday, and when the holiday approached they would present what they found (facts, food, costumes, culture, religion, etc.). This would allow students to learn about some group that they do not know much about. If there are people in your class who are a part of that culture and they celebrate that religion then they could also add what information they know when the presenter finishes.
I just thought this would be a fun year long project that everyone in your class could be a part of and learn from.

Author:  Jessica Mundy [ Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:54 pm ]
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I think holidays are very important in a classroom. With this said I think that we should celebrate different holidays. Like Anna said I also agree that Dr. Turner has done a fantastic job of including all holidays in the calendar. I think that we should read multi-cultural books and teach our students about the different holidays, whether we observe them or not. Christmas Around the World is always a good option. It's something that teaches students about the different ways to celebrate Christmas in different countries.

Author:  Lloyd Walker [ Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:28 pm ]
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I agree with everyone that holidays are great to celebrate. I can't think of a better place to begin the learning process involving celebrations than in the classroom. Awareness that there are nationalities, cultures, and religions that observe different days and celebrate things differently form main stream America is a good thing. I think lessons in elementary classes are the perfect place to start. Lianna that's a great idea you have. I like the fact that you would cover multiple aspects and cover many holidays.

Author:  Natalie Wolfe [ Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:51 pm ]
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I can't wait to celebrate holidays in my class because I can choose music from all holidays no matter what culture! My music class will be a perfect place for my students to learn about all cultures in general. I hope to incorporate as many languages and time periods as possible with all my choral literature. Music is a great jumping off point for learning which holidays are when during the year and will hopefully help my students identify with different cultures!

Author:  Carrie Barlowe [ Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:35 pm ]
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I have to agree Lianna, a year long holiday project would be a great! As a Social Studies teacher I would love to do a unit on the how cultures around the world celebrate holidays. Yet I would have to do a more in depth look at the history of the different cultures celebrations.

Author:  Kristen P. Helton [ Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:24 am ]
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I think that holidays should be addressed in the classroom. Students know they are out of school for a holiday so why not talk about it with them. I do think that you should not focus on one part of the holiday because it may offend a student or their family. Like for Christmas, if you have younger grades, read stories that deal with all different celebrations around christmas instead of the whole Jesus and Santa Claus deal. Let students know their are other cultures and they celebrate different things.

Author:  Kristen Bumgarner [ Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:44 pm ]
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I think it would be neat to have stations in a younger grades classroom. I felt kind of sheltered when I came to college because people began talking about their religious/cultural holidays that I had heard of but knew nothing about them. By having stations where there are various holidays to experience could be very educational and open up the minds of children.

Author:  Brynne Pulver [ Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:03 am ]
Post subject:  Holidays

Everyone loves holidays. Having said that, I think that it is very important to utilize the excitement that comes with holidays in your classroom. Talking about more holidays than just the one/s you personally celebrate is also important. Not everyone is always going to celebrate the holidays that you do, therefore, it is important to acknowledge several holidays. Learning about the origins of holidays is a wonderful way to introduce them to the class, and fun activities to go along with learning about them is great too. As a music teacher, I would love to include holiday music in my programs. I remember the holiday concerts were always my favorite when I was in choir in school, and I think it is a great idea to share that love with others.

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