Knowing Your Students’ Religions And How Holidays Can Affect Planning Christie Wiemers 11/2/2006 Introduction
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Students come from various backgrounds and cultures as we all know. Often we think about their culture but not their religious backgrounds. As educators we should be aware of our students’ religions and what holidays they celebrate in order to schedule tests and assignments appropriately.
This presentation will discuss religious practices that may interfere with the regular school day and holidays that are not recognized as national holidays. I provide lists of some major holidays, but others not listed may also result in absence from class.
Due to the diversity of religious practices, I will discuss the top five most common religions in the United States but it is important to be aware of others you will encounter. I will also list resources for further research and statistics as well as guidelines that affect classroom practices. Although we cannot plan around every student, we must try to make education as accessible as possible.
(“Christianity” includes many denominations and variations, including Catholicism and Mormonism, for which some research provides separate statistics.)
Statistics from: Adherents.com
Although Christianity has a large majority in the United States, it is important to know the religious statistics of your school and district
Religion can be a big part of students’ lives and educators should recognize how religious practices and holidays can interfere with learning. By becoming aware of what religious observances can affect students’ studies, we can make school and education more accommodating.
Along with understanding how religious holidays can affect scheduling, educators should also research attitudes associated with different religions so they can better understand students’ behaviors.