Values education proves point
The gentleman is poised to make a comeback in Dunedin on the coat tails of a new pilot programme at Kings High School next year.
The programme builds on the work of Kings' Dan Reddiex since he became principal four years ago.
It will be loosely based on a United States' model called The Gentlemen's Society - a new right of passage from boyhood to manhood, Mr Reddiex said.
''What I want my boys to understand is that to be a successful man is not measured by how much money you've got, it's not measured by the job you've got, it's measured by the relationships you hold and how well you treat the people you love.
''That's what the successful man is about.''
Mr Reddiex introduced values education when he was appointed which generated some strange looks from the first intake.
''It was like,'what's this guy on about'.''
However, the education initiative has seen Kings academic success rise and its roll soaring to the third largest first-year intake - 217 - in the school's history.
Mr Reddiex said the values model, adapted for secondary school from a system used at George St Normal School, was about preparing boys to be young men.
''It will teach them what it means to be a man and what it looks like. It's a pretty exciting prospect, I think.''
The principal intends to design five modules to be introduced at year 9 level and they will include aspects such as what it means to be good man; being a giving man (learning to actually think outside yourself and give to community and society); and being a sophisticated man (etiquette, manners, and how to treat other people).
Mr Reddiex said one of the most important was how to treat women. And he did not believe that was old fashioned.
''I think it's still equal. I expect my boys to let the girls go on the bus first and some people find that offensive. I'm not sure why. I think it's just about respecting other people.
''It's about simple respect. ''
Mr Reddiex said a culture of values at the school consisted of focusing on a different value every term.
''And we will talk about it in really practical terms.
''Term one is always respect because I've always got an influx of 200 new boys who need to understand how the school functions,'' he said.
''Values are now woven into every part of the school, evident in the way the boys conduct themselves whenever they are representing the school.''
The Southland Times