Each fall Pilgrim High School participates in "spirit week" in order to create a positive environment in which students and teachers can display their pride in the school.
However each year, I hear grumbling from faculty members about how this week is nothing but a distraction which creates an environment in which teaching and learning is impossible. Their argument is that "spirit week" has no educational value and thus should be discontinued.
The counter-argument: In a 2004 book entitled Creating a Positive School Culture, Marie-Nathalie Baudoin argues that a positive school culture, including events like spirit week, can actually lead to a better learning environment, help to eliminate cliques and bullying, and actually forge stronger relationships between teachers and students.
In another book released earlier this year entitled, The Muses go to School, editor Kerbert Kohl presents a series of essays which argue (among other things) that strong arts programs including music, visual arts, and drama all help to foster an overall positive school culture... thus, according to Kohl, when people complain about the murals around the building, or paint over art work for new white walls, they are actually being counter-educational...
What do you think? Do these things matter, or are they just distractions from what school is supposed to be?