ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should Schools Teach Etiquette or Ethics?

Updated on April 30, 2013
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge holds an EdS in Curriculum and Instruction, an MS in Elementary Education, and a BA in History. She also homeschools her children.

What is etiquette?

Etiquette is following the prescribed codes of social behavior. Although some people only think of etiquette as good manners— such s saying “please” and not putting one’s elbows on the table— etiquette more aptly means being polite and nice.

Teach beyond the content; install values in the classroom.

Source

What is ethics?

Ethics is described as a motive behind one’s behavior, a system of rules used to determine why someone behaves the way they do.

Teaching Etiquette and Teaching Ethics

According to Steve Johnson from Santa Clara University, educational systems have typically been concerned with three educational outcomes: skills, knowledge and character. Character, as described by Johnson, essentially describes what the kind of people a child will become. In other words, schools teach students to become good citizens. Some schools describe citizenship as teaching values and virtues, whereas other schools describe citizenship as developing “pro-social thoughts” (SCU).

Generally speaking, being a good citizen includes being someone who follows codes of etiquette as well.

Alam’s article “Education Should Promote Etiquette” (2011) from the Pakistan & Gulf Economist journal seemed to promote traditional Judeo-Christian values, however the article focuses more on teaching etiquette than on teaching ethics. Alam notes “education is important as it teaches the right behavior, the good manners, and the etiquette” (paragraph 2). I agree with this to an extent, however more than stressing etiquette, education should stress ethical values as described by God’s laws. Essentially, teachers ought to instruct students how to determine right from wrong, and learn how to be people of character.

At Santa Clara University, Johnson notes that ethics side of the curriculum promotes “respect and responsibility as the two hinges of a public, teachable morality”. They do this by emphasizing what “might make a difference in the thoughts, values and behaviors” of students who don’t succeed academically. Essentially, SCU helps mold the student to learn to think clearly for themselves, which in turn makes more moral and ethical people who want to contribute positively to society.

Etiquette vs. Ethics

The difference between etiquette and ethics is not tolerance, however. Modern society deems tolerance is ethical, however this writer suggests that not all tolerance is good.

While this writer realizes the audience of Alam’s article, likely those in the Middle East, may not have the same Judeo-Christian worldview, I still think it is important to point out the philosophical error in promoting etiquette over ethics. For example, Alam purports that “Education enables us to take the right decisions and prevent any loss in life” (paragraph 3), however Blackaby & Blackaby (2001) note that God should be the One guiding our decisions (p. 190). While educational leaders should make decisions based on their past successes, they should also look to God for specific guidance and leading. Holtrop states that “Students can act most responsibly when they have not only intimate knowledge of many facets of God’s world, but also specific training in thinking responsibility about it” (as cited in Van Brummelen, 2002, p. 38).

References

Alam, S.M. (20011, June 26). Education should promote etiquette. Pakistan & Gulf Economist. 30(25). Retrieved from Cengage Learning.

Blackaby, H. & Blackaby, R. (2001). Spiritual leadership. Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing.

Santa Clara University: Teaching Values in School- An Interview with Steve Johnson http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v13n1/interview.html

Van Brummelen, H. (2002). Steppingstones to curriculum. Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)