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Dialogs on Diversity and Global Education

Edited By Mirja-Tytti Talib, Jyrki Loima, Heini Paavola and Sanna Patrikainen

Intercultural and ethical issues are part of our daily lives. They share characteristics that make them particularly sensitive and sometimes volatile. The challenges that increasing diversity brings into education and schools in general are many as can be seen in this volume, for instance, in the Scandinavian countries, Estonia, United States, Canada, Japan and China. There are conflicting interpretations of multiculturalism and interculturalism. Culture plays a key role in different interpretations: North America is more tuned into hybrid aspects of students’ identities, while in many European countries ethnicity still dominates the discussion. Good teachers make a difference. They have an understanding of the socio-political context of education as well as intercultural competence. The essays in this book portray multicultural, intercultural, and global as well as theoretical and practical approaches to diversity and education.


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Headmasters’ conceptions of school festival traditions Arto Kallioniemi, Kaarina Lyhykäinen and Antti Räsänen 161


161 Headmasters’ conceptions of school festival traditions Arto Kallioniemi, Kaarina Lyhykäinen ja Antti Räsänen Introduction The focus of this article is to look at comprehensive school level headmasters’ conceptions of school festival traditions. School festivals are traditionally a cen- tral part of a school’s cultural heritage education. School festival tradition is a very important part of Finnish cultural-identity. In our changing society cele- brating school festivals has become more difficult than before, e.g. religious di- versity has changed the situation of schools so that there is a growing number of pupils who cannot participate in school festivals for religious and cultural rea- sons. The focus of this article is to look at school headmasters’ conceptions of school festival traditions. In addition, how they see that school is responsible for transmitting festival traditions. Furthermore, co-operation with local congrega- tions in organising school assemblies and church services in schools for Christ- mas and Easter. This article is based on a survey conducted in spring of 2007. Altogether 250 headmasters of comprehensive schools around Finland took part in survey. This presentation is part of the Helsinki and the Joensuu university research project investigating school festivals. School festival tradition Festivals are very important part of the Finnish cultural-identity. Celebrating festivals helps people to point out who they are and where they belong. Many traditions and memories are connected with festivals as they transmit cultural heritage from one generation to another. This is especially important in the reli- gious education (RE) curriculum...

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