24 October 2010
The Importance of World Mythology
Everyone has seen on television or read in newspapers about how schools are changing their curriculum to tailor more towards helping students pass standardized tests. With this emphasis shift, teachers are less likely to educate students about mythology, let alone mythologies from other cultures. Students are missing out on a great opportunity to learn about diversity in cultures. Not only can English teachers use world myths as a learning tool to explain different cultures, but science and social studies teachers can use it expand on their subject matter. English teachers focus their curriculum on Roman and Greek mythology because most of the time they are the only cultures represented in text books. The mythology from around the world can serve to teach students about the values and influences of other cultures. This is particularly important in the world today, since globalization has brought foreign cultures much more frequently in touch with each other than ever before. Myths address themes that are part of the common needs of all humans and thus reflect upon the experience of mankind across a large segment of time and the planet. Myths contain a strong wisdom that comes from the communal experience of humanity across thousands of years. “Mythology is the code that contains the record of the journey of those earlier generations; it is the depository of the archetypal wisdom they have left behind.”(David Elkson). Cultural diversity enriches the entire world. It could provide insights and perspectives which students might never be exposed to, and it could provide them with the opportunity to discover, learn, and understand the world they live in. Not only can English teachers benefit through the use of myths as a reference, but science teachers can as well.
Societies throughout history have employed mythology as a means of explaining the unexplainable. It might...