10: Etiquette

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
10: Etiquette

Today, we’re talking about etiquette. Specifically…

What do you think of small talk and social graces being added as a part of the “standard” educational curricula in some schools?

Show notes and links:
Schooling Children in Manners, Thank You Very Much (New York Times, December 9, 2015)

Full episode text

Reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic may be what most people think about when they think of school, but in many places education means much more. There has, lately, been a resurgence in schools including character education, social graces, and etiquette as a part of their teaching responsibility, adding to what used to be the purview of junior cotillions, finishing school, or parental insight.

In some countries, including traditional rules of social interaction as a part of the curriculum goes without a single question, because that is a part of educating students in how to interact with their world. Some colleges have even beefed up their offerings on etiquette in an attempt to help their students prepare for job interviews and business interactions.

So the question really boils down to – do you think this is something schools should be spending their educational time on? If you were ruler of all schools, would you require that your teachers spent time on helping the kids learn how to get along “properly”, or would it be all hard skills, all the time?