Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Christmas and Easter
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Author:  Aaron Simmons [ Thu Jun 17, 2004 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Christmas and Easter

This may be a dumb question, but since Christmas and Easter are HUGE christian holidays how does everyone plan on discussing these events with your students. Of course all of us will talk about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but will any of you actually mention the reason why we have Christmas and Easter?

Author:  Catherine Crews [ Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:31 am ]
Post subject: 

Good question! I'm not really sure I know the answer to it either. I think maybe depending on the community I'm in and the group of students I have I might just ask another teacher for help, or go to the Principal. The most important thing though is not to push it on children who do not believe in the holidays.

Author:  Aaron Simmons [ Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:43 am ]
Post subject: 

I don't think that the reason for the holiday should be pressed upon the children either, but I do think that it is ok to mention it. I remember discussing various religious holidays in school, why not mention Christian holidays as well?

Author:  Jack Malone [ Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Just offering the music education side of it (so you all know what the heck is going on in the band room during these holiday times!), several established music educators I know have mentioned incorporating tunes that represent as many religious backgrounds as possible for a holiday concert. Playing tunes that are generic to religion (Jingle Bells, Frosty, etc.) are perfectly useable, of course. But playing a Jewish holiday song or a Christian holiday song would be for its "musical/educational value only". As an elementary school teacher, you might read a story about the nativity scene, but follow it the next day with the story of a family who celebrates the events of another religion. It's not so much feeling like you have to explain the ins and outs of a certain holiday or its particular religion- just make sure that several are covered or at least mentioned. For my situation, I know that Jewish music has a very upbeat, dance-like rhythm that will be useful for teaching students the style that is associated with that rhythm. I could follow with something mellow like Silent Night, but end the concert with a tune in a different style from a different part of the world or other religion. As long as what is mentioned is educational (and sometimes, it's polite to ask ahead of time if anyone may be offended- including students, parents, teachers, and administration), the information will be useful and fun.

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