What is the appropriate place of religious holidays and traditions in the educational curriculum? This is a tricky question and the jury is still out. The classic U.S. holiday season is upon us, and with it a strong communal desire to celebrate. At Circletime, we want to be transparent regarding our thought process so you can make the best choices for your family
Why not just skip over holidays entirely? As always, we go back to what is best for kids. Some people, including educators, have long believed it is better to ignore all such occasions. However, research has shown that this artificial stance keeps us from recognizing, acknowledging, and appreciating important differences.
Valuing diversity helps children build a stronger sense of identity and wellbeing. Research points to better education and career outcomes when diverse strengths, abilities, interests and perspectives are understood and supported.
The Circletime framework:
- An approach that is academic and not devotional.
- Focus on the awareness of cultures rather than acceptance of any one religion.
- Expose students to a diversity of traditions without promoting them.
- Use these moments to develop a deeper understanding of others and the broader world around us.
Our teachers incorporate holiday elements in their sessions to embrace the beauty of different traditions. They plan ahead to come from an informed, respectful place.
Let’s use this uniquely global space to build the world we’d like our children to live in!
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As always, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions!