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Importance of School Extracurricular Activities in Teaching Moral Values

Sixth Grade Students Practicing a Drama Skit


Importance of Teaching Moral Values

It seems like our children are being taught too few moral values in school today. This has led to increased school violence as evidenced by the Columbine shootings in the United States a few years ago. Societies all around the world have been affected by manifestations of increased crime and disrespect for parents, teachers, elders, and other people in authoritative positions. Under the guise of the separation of church and state, many people feel that teaching religious moral values should not be done in the public school classroom. This being the case, it is worthwhile examining the utility of school extra-curricular activities as a vehicle for teaching moral values. Based on my experiences of teaching in a Thailand Catholic School, I will illustrate in this article how moral values can be passed on to students in extra-curricular activities.

With my 6th grade students on a field trip in Bangkok in 2010.

With my 6th grade students on a field trip in Bangkok in 2010.

What Are the Extracurricular Activities in My School?

As applied to my teaching in Thailand, extra-curricular activities include those sports and scholastic competitions, artistic person and group expressions, and acts of public service work that are conducted outside of the classroom. In the Catholic all-girls elementary and secondary school where I taught, students are fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the following extra-curricular activities:

1. Music and Marching Band

Starting in the first grade, students have the chance to learn how to play traditional Thai musical instruments such as the sueng, a plucked lute; the khim, a hammered dulcimer; and the taphon, a sacred barrel drum. During the visits of important guests to the school, these students are allowed to showcase their talents.

Beginning in the sixth grade, all students with talent in percussion and wind instruments are invited to join the school marching band. Every morning, selected members of the band play the national anthem and showcase their talents by playing trombones, clarinets, saxophones, flutes, and drums in activities for Sports Day, Christmas, national holidays, and visits of guests to the school.

2. Sports and Sports Day

Once a year during the beginning of the cool season in November and December, all students participate in a Sports Day held all day on a Friday. On that day, selected students will join in athletic competitions like basketball, chair ball, tug of war, and other team activities. All of the other students are broken down into cheering groups for four or five different teams. The day begins with an Olympic-style opening ceremony followed by the games.

3. Interscholastic Forensic Competition

Once every semester, talented students in grades 5-12 are selected by teachers to take part in interscholastic forensic competitions either at my school or in other schools. Forensic activities include public speaking, storytelling, and extemporaneous speaking.

4. Special Variety Programs for Parents

On occasions, students can showcase their singing, dancing, acting, and speaking talents at programs for parents. During a special program in 2011, students from all grades participated in speaking, singing, and dancing activities. Some girls gave an excellent choral reading while others performed selected role plays. Still, others gave speeches and put on a cute puppet show.

Variety Program Activities for Parents

8th grade students giving a choral reading

8th grade students giving a choral reading

5. Morals Training—Being All to All

All students in my school receive training in moral values for approximately 30 minutes each day. The emphasis in this training is being all to all. Simply speaking, all students role-play as members of a village who are responsible for the well-being of each other. The emphasis is on raising money and donating it to temples and victims of floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

6. Traditional Thai Dancing

Talented and interested students are invited to learn and perform traditional Thai dances. These girls will perform at special assemblies for the King's and Queen's birthdays, and also at visits of important guests to the school.

Traditional Thai Dancing


Benefits of School Extracurricular Activities

7. Brownie and Girl Scout Activities

All students in grades 1–9 must participate in Brownie and Girl Scout Activities. As a requirement, all girls must wear their green scouting uniforms to school once a week. On July 1 there is a special ceremony commemorating the introduction of scouting into Thailand in 1911 by King Rama VI. Older girls receive drilling in marching, and once a year all scouts must attend a two-day camp at the school.

Sixth Grade Students Wearing Their Scouting Uniform in The Classroom


8. Service to School and Teachers

All eleventh-grade students are expected to perform service for the school and teachers. This includes such things as cleaning off lunch tables in the cafeteria and assisting teachers with school activities such as English Day. All twelfth-grade students must assist at assemblies for national holiday activities and ceremonies for teachers and special school guests.

9. Special Activities for the King's Birthday

Every year students must attend and learn about the late King, King Rama IX's, accomplishments, and economic self-sufficiency teachings at special activities prepared by all teachers.

How Do Extracurricular Activities Teach Moral Values

The extracurricular activities in my school play a big part in teaching moral values. Specifically, moral values reflected include:

1. Love and Compassion

Under the school slogan of being "all to all," students are taught to love one another and show compassion to others in times of disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and fire.

2. Cooperation and Teamwork

Students are taught the value and strength of teamwork and cooperation through sports and Girl Scout activities such as camping.

3. Hope - Raising School Morale

Sports Day, the marching band, and Girl Scout camping activities do much in raising school morale. This, in turn, gives students hope in passing the other monotonous days of academic study.

4. Justice and Honesty

Students learn justice and honesty while playing sports and following the rules and in scouting activities.

5. Simplicity - Self-sufficiency

Students learn simplicity and self-sufficiency in doing activities on the occasion of the King's birthday, Father's Day, on December 5 of each year.

6. Respect

All students learn to respect and demonstrate it in activities for Teacher's Respect Day in June and Teacher's Day in January each year.

Extracurricular activities are a necessary part of school life. Sports, scholastic competition, and scouting activities can foster teamwork and cooperation as well as a sense of justice in playing by the rules. All other activities which focus on public service work can inculcate the moral values of love, compassion, and gratitude.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Paul Richard Kuehn


Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 20, 2018:

Yes, you may it use it as a reference as long as you credit me as the author holding copyright over the article.


Nice article, may I use your article as a reference for my action research?

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on November 06, 2017:

Thanks for the comment.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on July 12, 2016:

Thank you very much for your comment. I'm pleased that you liked this hub.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on March 20, 2015:

Au fait, Thanks for your praise of this article. It's hard to see how any morals can be shown on TV considering the pop stars we have today. Thanks for sharing.

C E Clark from North Texas on March 20, 2015:

Came back to share this superbly thought out and written article again. Morals used to be taught even on television, but now it would seem television is more likely to undermine any values of worth. Voted up again and posted on Awesome Hubpages as well as shared with HP followers.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on October 05, 2013:


Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. According to the Thailand Ministry of Education, all students must be either girl scouts or boy scouts through the ninth grade. One of Thailand's kings about 100 years ago established scouting for all Thai students.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 04, 2013:

Extracurricular activities can teach students discipline and morals if they are not being taught it in other settings. The home of course is the best place to teach those values with schools being a place for reinforcement of those values. It is interesting to me that the girls in your school must become brownies and girl scouts. Obviously they honor the values taught there. Up votes, sharing and pinning.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 08, 2013:

Principal Z,

Thanks for reading this article and I really appreciate your perspective in this subject. You are correct. In extra-curricular activities, a student's effors can be entirely self-chosen and this can lead to pride and sense of worth for an individual.

Zak Fitzenreider from Chicago, IL on February 08, 2013:

Nice hub!

This is an interesting perspective on the role of extra-curricular activities. I think that another benefit for extra curricular activities is the fact that these are the only place where a student's efforts can be entirely self-chosen. I think a certain pride and ownership comes from that, and is often lacking when these opportunities are not available for students.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on January 21, 2013:


Thanks for stopping by and your great encouraging comments. I think sports is one of the best extra-curricular activities for teaching moral values. I learned a lot of lessons for life while on my high school football team for two years. Thanks for sharing this hub.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 20, 2013:

We used to have prayers and then sung the national anthem before starting classes for the day every morning in school. And I agree this along with extra curricular activities including participating in camps instilled in us respect and moral values for our teachers, seniors and classmates.

Wonderful reminder too. voted up, useful and shared on G+1.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on January 05, 2013:


Thank you very much for reading this article and your well-stated insightful comments. No, I don't think the Church should be running education in the public schools. However, I think that all schools should pay strict attention in trying to evaluate the moral character of their teachers, especially when they are hiring. Teachers must set good examples for students. As long as they are setting good examples, it really doesn't matter what religion they are or whether they believe in God. Thanks for sharing.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 05, 2013:

This is a well written and well laid out article, however I fail to see the connection between anything you've written here and the division of church and state. All the morals and values you mention here were taught in the public schools I attended. I see them as general values, and yes technically they are based on Biblical values (but a lot of people don't know that). I don't think it's necessary to bring any particular religious belief into the equation in order to teach these particular values and morals.

I think sometimes people don't stop to think about exactly what the words religion and church really mean. They are not limited to Christianity, or more specifically Catholicism, and therefore may not teach Christian values and morals.

The reason for the shooting at Columbine was that a couple of students were being bullied constantly and no one made any effort to put a stop to it. Not parents, and not teachers. That doesn't excuse what the bullied students finally did in retaliation, but neither does it excuse the parents and teachers for allowing the situation to escalate. I've seen some kids from religious homes who were the worst bullies in school, so I'm not sure religious training would solve the bully problem either.

You can paper the walls with the 10 Commandments and Bible verses, but if children place no value or importance on those things they will have no good affect, or likely any effect. On the other hand, you can teach those values in the home as they should be, and the Biblical wallpaper will not be necessary. Children learn more from example than anything else. What kind of behavior are parents modeling for their children nowadays?

Given the huge number of teachers in this country alone (USA) it's hard to imagine that we could rest assured that every one of those teachers was teaching our children exactly the morals and values we approve of. Some of those teachers are bound to be atheists, agnostics, Islamists, Wickens, Pageans, and even Satanists. Do you really want some of these people instructing your children about morals and values? I prefer to do it myself, and did so.

You might also want to read more about Medieval times and the Dark Ages if you think you want to go back to letting the church run everything. We only have to look at Islamist countries to see how that is working out over there.

Agree that extra-curricular activities and programs are important and just naturally teach many valuable lessons, including morals and values, and I think all children can benefit from them.

Voting you up, interesting and useful. Will share!

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 10, 2012:


Thank you very much for reading and your very encouraging comments. Moral values will not be instilled into the youth of today until all parents take a stance and insist on this education both in the home and the schools.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 10, 2012:

This is a wonderful hub! I couldn't agree with you more! We are not teaching our children about respect and morals enough. I am appalled at how I hear teen-age children talk to their teachers as well as their parents! I love the idea of the morals training! We show no respect to anyone in schools anymore. No pledge of allegiance, no more prayer in school! Even a silent prayer, so children of different faiths can pray to whomever, or not pray if the don't believe! The world is losing respect and morals and we as parent need to see that that changes! Voting this up and awesome! :)

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 05, 2012:


Thanks for stopping by and your nice comments. I really appreciate them.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on December 05, 2012:


Thanks for reading this hub and your comments. I really appreciate them.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 04, 2012:

Wonderful points, Paul. We had similar programs and activities at the Catholic schools where I taught. Great hub!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on December 04, 2012:

Moral values have been diluted in importance in the advent of social media and cyberbullying......the accessibility of this technology, while vital, also lends plenty of opportunity for misuse. I taught many choirs in school and it is important to teach values to children. Thanks for sharing!

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on November 19, 2012:


Thanks you very much for stopping by and your great comments. You are absolutely correct in saying that the teaching of morals, manners, and virtues should be ongoing.

Suzie from Carson City on November 19, 2012:

Paul...I'm with you! Any and all, healthy, interactive and adult-supervised activities, children can become involved in, is a positive learning experience. Teaching the importance of morals, manners, and virtues, should be ongoing, at home, in school and for all kid's activities. This is the best and most beneficial way for them to learn and appreciate, in the most meaningful way. Thank you... UP+++

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on November 19, 2012:


Thanks for reading and your really nice comments. I really appreciate them.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on November 19, 2012:

Jack, Thanks for your great comments. Football and having to do farm chores after school definitely kept me out of trouble when I was growing up.

ignugent17 on November 18, 2012:

Great hub! This is very useful for teachers. It is really true the extra-curricular activities are important. This is where you will see the real reactions of students and the time to correct them for better judgment.

Voted up and useful. :-)

Jack Hazen from Blitzburgh area on November 18, 2012:

Excellent article, Paul.

My daughter, now 18 and in college, attended a non-denominational Christian school 1st to 9th grades and played sports. The administrators of that school and coaches of those teams definitely stressed moral values as it related to sports and life in general.

Then she transferred to a public high school for 10th - 12th grades and played sports year round. Not only do sports and other extra-curricular activities teach moral values, they keep kids out of trouble because they are so busy they are not bored and looking for cheap thrills.