Heroes have always played a vital role in the education of any community. Everyone wants stories with heroes and a social message which entails beliefs and concepts and ideological ways of questioning and making sense of our chaotic world.
When discussing character education in Early Childhood, Dr. Thomas Lickona says, “Qualities such as courage, self-control, kindness, honesty, compassion, cooperation, diligence or hard work are the kinds of qualities that we need, to both lead a fulfilling life and to enable us to live together productively and harmoniously. Character education develops these virtues in every phase of school life.”
Legends In Education:
The characters of many myths become so popular and familiar to everyone, they take on a role of reality. Here are just a couple of legends we enjoy and which have been taught in schools for many generations.
Robin Hood gave to the poor, having robbed from the rich. He was a brave fighter, standing against injustice and tyranny, even though he was a fugitive from the law. He was the leader of a band of Merry Men, the seven outlawed yeomen (prosperous farmers or bodyguards in a noble or royal household).
William Shakespeare refers to Robin Hood in a late 16th century play, ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’. Robin Hood even has a gravestone with his name on it, in an attempt to give the legend more credibility.
King Arthur was a legendary British soldier who defended Britain against the Saxon invaders. The addition of Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table and the Holy Grail, were added to the legend by a 12th century French writer.
Many say Saint Nicholas truly existed and give away gifts, long before the story evolved into the current commercial practice of Father Christmas. His various names were Christ Kind, Sinter Klass, Kris Kringle, Pere Noel, St Nicholasand of course Santa Clause and Father Christmas.
While some say William Shakespeare is a very prolific poet and playwright of amazing genius, there is a controversy that says Shakespeare is merely a corporate name, covering a pool of writers. The fact remains, however, that Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into every major language and been performed more often, than plays produced by any other scriptwriter.
Children of all ages have always enjoyed imaginary characters of legends and are well able to tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Irish Leprechaun (shoemaker)
It is said the mischievous Irish Leprechaun, with his lucky four leaf clover, hides your TV remote and steals your underwear and one of your socks, in the dark of the night. Others say that anyone who manages to catch a Leprechaun will have hidden treasures revealed to you.
Big Creature Legends
Maybe the myths of over large and strange creatures serves some vague purpose of explaining the unexplainable. There are stories of oversize strange creatures in many different cultures.
The remote forests in the Pacific Northwest in America is said to be the home of Bigfoot.
The Yeti is believed to inhabit the Himalayas and there have been new reports of having seen its footprints recently.
In the Scottish Highlands is the monster of Loch Ness, which does wonders for the tourist trade in the area.
A little known Australia Yowie, lurks in the Australian Outback. It rises from the ground at night, to eat humans and whatever else it can find.
Halloween, witches and vampires, have all found their place in the myths and legends of many cultures. Ghosts roll onto a whole new area. It is left up to the individual teacher and the goals and aims of the teaching institution, as to what the children are taught about the area of the paranormal.