Traditions contribute to a sense of comfort and belonging, bring people together, encourage ongoing connection and reinforce shared values. Traditions also offer context and space for meaningful reflection.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) article -- Social practices, rituals and festive events: “[Cultural traditions] reaffirm the identity of those who practice them as a group or a society…They are closely linked to a community’s worldview and perception of its own history and memory.”
And culture in schools is important. Building a strong culture in school, through traditions and shared values, also directly benefits student academics as outlined in the study The effects of school culture and climate on student achievement published in the International Journal of Leadership in Education (V. 12, 2009 - Issue 1). Many more studies have established a connection between student well being and school culture, like this one out of the UK from BMC Public Health -- School culture and student mental health: a qualitative study in UK secondary schools.
On a more personal level, we all find traditions grounding. Children are not the only ones that benefit from routine. Our little ones know when it is bread day in Kindergarten and look forward to it just as we adults may look forward to a sacred autumn moment at our Waldorf school’s lantern walk.
Photo Credit: Kimberton Waldorf School
- Waldorf Education