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Old 08-02-2007, 08:20 AM
 
Location: VA
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Other than learning how to type, I can not think of a better set of skills to have than basic communication. In a perfect world, all parents would teach their kids basic manners, interpersonal skills, and the ability to speak in public. Though many parents do not have a clue about these important issues.

Instead of teaching kids high math, so they can pass all the government mandated tests, they should be teaching them life skills, like manners, interpersonal skills and general communication. What do you think?
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Old 08-02-2007, 08:30 AM
9/9
 
Location: Durham, NC
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My school teaches life skills, technology, computer literacy, and speech classes.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:40 AM
 
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Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in the school day or days in the school year to teach all that should be taught. There is too much time devoted to teach the students how to pass tests, and then giving and taking those tests. That time could be put to better use. But if a school system wants State or Federal money, that's what will be done.

And, let's face it, classes like Public Speaking and Manners, won't get the student into a college.

There are certainly a need to examine what is being taught to see if it's really useful or if it's merely a means to make a certain group happy. My own personnal feeling when I was in school, waaaayy back then, that courses like Art Appreciation, and English Literature classes that studied Shakespeare and John Milton were a waste of time.

Now, I know that there are many, many that would disagree on that, but except for impressing people by using quotes, what useful thing do such studies accomplish?
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:58 AM
 
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Yes, my son's private school teaches these things, although public speaking is taught through drama - plays where everyone has speaking lines every year. My son has had lessons in table manners, interacting with cashiers, accepting awards, introductions, proper dress (through uniforms), etc all of these soft skills. It helps reinforce what is learned at home. Kids at the school are also invited to attend Cotillion to learn more good manners, dancing, interacting with the opposite sex, etc.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:14 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,835,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett2 View Post
Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in the school day or days in the school year to teach all that should be taught. There is too much time devoted to teach the students how to pass tests, and then giving and taking those tests. That time could be put to better use. But if a school system wants State or Federal money, that's what will be done.
I agree.
Quote:
And, let's face it, classes like Public Speaking and Manners, won't get the student into a college.
I think they can help.
Kids who are able to debate are kids who have confidence and critical thinking skills. Kids without manners might get *into* college, kids with manners might have an easier time of it in undergraduate school and then later in life.
Manners are supposed to be a two-way street. When everyone uses them, the world is a better place. It's great if kids learn social skills in school and go to Cotillion on Sunday afternoon.
It's even better if, rather than just during a six week course, such courtesies are modeled by parents and actually used in daily life.
Quote:
There are certainly a need to examine what is being taught to see if it's really useful or if it's merely a means to make a certain group happy. My own personnal feeling when I was in school, waaaayy back then, that courses like Art Appreciation, and English Literature classes that studied Shakespeare and John Milton were a waste of time.

Now, I know that there are many, many that would disagree on that, but except for impressing people by using quotes, what useful thing do such studies accomplish?
I agree that it might be beneficial for kids to be able to work on their strengths and ease up on their vulnerabilities. I barely passed math in high school but have turned out to be a fairly productive human being.
I don't think we need to know a bunch of stuff just because Bill Bennett recommends it in his silly book.
However, to be human is to be more than merely "useful."
We contemplate, reflect, even pursue life's meaning. Art and literature might be funny, absurd, beautiful, or sad.
Some of those quotes are pretty good distillations of life's experience, ya know?
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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cil, this is one of the problems. I loved math and Chemistry, Physics and things like that. There either weren't many courses offered or I couldn't work them into my schedule. I nearly failed Eng. Lit, because I just could not make myself read the stuff. But it was REQUIRED.

It's all in how you look at it I guess, as to what is the most important. But I worry when I read about groups that are pushing to have Bible studies offered as part of the High school experience. Yeah, I can see an unbiased study of Bible History happening since it's being pushed by a certain religious discipline.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
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Quote:
And, let's face it, classes like Public Speaking and Manners, won't get the student into a college.
Maybe not into college but it will get them thru the school called LIFE. Liz
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:45 PM
 
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Maybe we should start by having a manners class for parents.

Dawn
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Old 08-02-2007, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnW View Post
Maybe we should start by having a manners class for parents.

Dawn
Good luck. Have you ever witnessed the parental manners exhibited in a car pool line at drop off or pick up?
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Old 08-02-2007, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,879,423 times
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Dingler, I agree that these things should be taught in school, and at a young age with reinforcement all along the way. It would make teachers jobs so much easier.

I sub and I do see that 'basic' manners (not pushing, not yelling or running in hallways, and things of that nature) are taught at the elementary level. I am personally a big stickler on the subject. When I'm in charge of a classroom I always make each and every child stand in front of the class to read aloud (without embarassing them of course). I think it's important that they learn to speak so that everyone can hear them, and I've found that it builds their confidence and they all seem to listen and to like it.

I do have one little complaint about the elementary level classrooms I've seen. I'd like to see less macaroni (for art projects) and a lot more science stuff. I've yet to see a microscope or any of the other things I provided to my own kids at home to spur their curiosity.

Last edited by Sgoldie; 08-02-2007 at 08:58 PM..
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