I was in my Popular American Culture class today and the topic of graduation as a ritual was brought up.
Our instructor informed us that the robes we wear actually link back to robes that monks wore long ago and related that to the obvious topic on the minds of the seniors at Michigan State University. He also brought up the idea that graduation is a ritual or ceremony that really gives a person identity.
Talking about graduation as a way to give someone identity makes me wonder if that is a good thing and if it is why don’t we have more kindergarten and elementary graduations? A family friend back home teaches kindergarten and does her own classroom graduation every year. I understand that this takes her personal time and money, but I think it is really important and gives the students a great sense of pride in themselves.
Elementary graduations do not have to happen every year or be full-out celebrations, but I do think that teachers really need to make an effort of celebrating the completion of every grade. Moving up in grades is a big deal and students should feel as though they have really accomplished something when they do so!