Education via Philately
Various methods have been used to promote learning. I have chosen the path of philately, the largest hobby in the world. Over the years, I have learned history from each stamp I have collected. Using philately in the class room can be a rewarding experience for students. Young students who have not yet begun to read and those students who find reading difficult find it interesting to look at stamp posters, a variety of covers, and numerous stamps in various shapes, colors, from different countries, and about various topics. The novelty of the concept makes the educational exposure a joy and not an undesirable task. Students that are readers will find interesting the subjects on stamps that range from people (culture), to places (geography), to things (dinosaurs), to events (history), etc. This will normally result in a sincere attempt at researching in geography, history, culture, etc. Those students who become interested in African-American stamp collecting can chose individual stamps ‑ domestic or foreign ‑ covers (envelopes), souvenir sheets, special albums, first day ceremony programs, posters, plate blocks, design/printing errors, to name a few areas of specializing.
For example, if a student collected stamps of personalities, specifically of Martin Luther King, Jr., he/she would learn the following facts around which lesson plans could be built:
1. Two (2) months after MLK's assassination (history), Mexico remembered him by being the first country (geography) to put his image on a legitimate postage stamp.
2. The student would be aware of each of 60 plus countries which have him on their country's stamps (statistics). The countries are in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, etc.
3. MLK is on many European postage stamps (international affairs).
4. The United States was the 33rd country to honor MLK on a stamp. Students can research why it took so long (politics).
As indicated previously, stamp collecting can provide interdisciplinary (related) lessons, e.g., social studies at the same time science and reading are taught. Stamps and covers can provide multicultural or cross‑cultural understandings (learning and activities).
Philately will allow students to learn about people on stamps covering all different nationalities and occupations related to lessons being taught. Examples: Students maybe studying geography use stamps to learn about different countries and states in the U.S. Within the state stamps, they learn the capital, state flower, when the state was chartered or founded. Philately can be used as motivation for lessons.