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to think children should be taught social skills, public speaking and conflict resolution at school?

(118 Posts)
CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 15:53:31

And that those skills and the confidence they give are just as important as academic skills, if not more so in some ways?

MsLT Wed 29-Jan-14 15:58:42

P.S.H.E? Citizenship? R.E.? S.E.A.L?
You obviously don't work in a secondary school OP.

postmanpatscat Wed 29-Jan-14 16:01:49

Or a primary school, either!

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:03:42

No I was a primary teacher though and all those subjects just discussed relationships in a way that focused on theory and feelings etc. Which is fine, but IMO children, from a young age, need to explicitly taught how to deal with a range of social situations. I also think that by y6 they should be able to write and confidently deliver a coherent speech on a topic relevant to them.

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:08:04

To many people get to adulthood unable to stand up in front of groups. I run a toddler group and a lot of people really struggle when they first come due to lack of confidence and lack of a "script" as to how to handle a new social situation.

MsLT Wed 29-Jan-14 16:08:27

I also think that by y6 they should be able to write and confidently deliver a coherent speech on a topic relevant to them.
DD is in Year 6 and she can do this. Not all children can do this in Year 11 - not because they are not taught to, but because one student's ability is not the same as another's.
One size doesn't fit all.

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:08:35

Too many people..

MsLT Wed 29-Jan-14 16:10:52

My post is badly written ^^ smile! (I also hate doing presentations!)

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:11:22

I honestly think it's a pretty basic skill MsLT. True some children with learning difficulties or speech impediments might reach a lower standard but IMO all any average child lacks in doing this is experience and confidence, which come with practice.

MooncupGoddess Wed 29-Jan-14 16:12:37

Yes, agree. When I reached university it was very obvious how much more polished and socially able students from public schools were than us state school types... and what an advantage this gave them.

(I generalise, of course, and state schools may have improved in this respect over the last 15 years.)

ferretyfeet Wed 29-Jan-14 16:16:16

I think all children should be taught finance in school.How to open and run a bank account,how to deal with credit cards and bank loans etc.

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:16:24

Conflict resolution is really important IMO. It is pretty ridiculous when people deal with conflict at work with passive aggression, sulking, sabotage or even full on shouting matches. Also in terms of personal relationships I think children need to be shown what a calm reasonable discussion looks like and learn in a practical, not theoretical way how to deal with difficult topics.

MsLT Wed 29-Jan-14 16:19:46

It has a lot to do with confidence and practise yes but skills are not always transferable.
Many people love the sound of their own voice and it doesn't faze them. I stand up in front of 11-18 year olds day in day out and teach. If I am teaching a new (to me) topic, I feel nervous. I have been teaching for many years and I feel no nerves talking to a class or hall full of pupils but take me out of my comfort zone (and put me in front of adults to deliver training sessions) and I am a nervous wreck.

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:22:54

I had a rubbish childhood but did drama for years and I think that has given me a huge advantage in my adult life in terms of confidence. I am academically able, which helps, but I have got every job I have ever interviewed for (even ones I was underqualified for, or my current one which I actually have no qualifications for!) largely due to the fact that interviews don't bother me at all. I also have no trouble making friends, not because I'm particularly special or owt but because I know how to read cues and manage social situations.

Purplegirly Wed 29-Jan-14 16:23:39

At GCSE level there was a speaking and listening option which has now been removed and demoted from being part of the exam, so is now not as important.

Most schools have financial planning as part of PSHE where banks come in. Pupils hate it as it is of no relevance to them at that age, they all think they will leave school and earn millions and drive Porsches ...

HoneyandRum Wed 29-Jan-14 16:26:05

It's a cultural thing. My DC are American and when in American elementary (primary) the kids are encouraged and asked at a young age to give all kinds of verbal presentations. Speaking loudly and clearly is encouraged and expected. My middle dd who has a very naturally loud voice was constantly praised in America by teachers and parents for having a "great voice". Here in Germany and in the UK a child whose voice travels across a classroom or restaurant is considered a PITA grin.

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:28:37

I agree that just getting children to stand up in front of others wouldn't be enough to ensure confidence in all situation MsLT but it's a good start. I think children should also given specific help in raising their general confidence and take away the fear of different social situations, such as speaking in front of peers or speaking on an unfamiliar topic. When training for public speaking I had to give an impromptu 3 minute speech on spoons! Silly but effective.

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:33:02

I agree Honey. IME in both the UK and Ireland a confident child is more likely to be seen as annoying or arrogant. Of course a child shouldn't be yakking on all through school but it's frustrating when as a teacher you ask for a volunteer to speak and no one will volunteer.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 29-Jan-14 16:34:06

Not everything should be the school's responsibility, parents should be doing some of this stuff.

cardibach Wed 29-Jan-14 16:35:11

I think children should be taught social skills and conflict resolution at home. And yes, I know that some parents won't, but we should be moving back towards parents having responsibility for the raising of their children and schools for their academic education. Schools can't do everything! What would you like them to drop from the curriculum to make room for all this, OP? Algebra? French? Reproduction?

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:37:45

Cardi, it could be done in primary in pshe, and SEAL. In secondary I did public speaking both in english class and after school.

IME parents don't teach this stuff at all.

Bea Wed 29-Jan-14 16:38:50

Ummm... shouldn't parents be doing this??
Surely it is a parents' job to bring up their children to be good citizens and useful members of society... stop expecting school to do your parenting for you!

CailinDana Wed 29-Jan-14 16:44:54

IME parents don't generally do public speaking with their children Bea, do you?

Also I notice that when children fight parents tend to break it up, tell the children it's naughty etc but they don't actually teach their children how to deal better with the problem.

MsLT Wed 29-Jan-14 16:49:56

So OP, you are a confident, academically able person.
You could send many people to 'public speaking' classes every week until they are 90 and they still wouldn't be able to do talk confidently in unfamiliar situations.
I agree that public school educated students are very good at self promotion talking confidently. People find their own way but public speaking is not for everyone.

As for resolving conflict, I am with you. Some people need to just grow up and behave professionally in the work place.

SwayingBranches Wed 29-Jan-14 16:52:50

Ds1's primary school teaches public speaking and children have to do presentations that they're evaluated on. Ds speaks very clearly and confidently to an audience now.

Not sure about the rest. It used to be a state school now it's an academy.

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