Volunteers sought to run ethics classes
Volunteers are being sought to run ethics classes in Peninsula primary schools.
Public primary schools on the Peninsula are among a growing number of schools in NSW which now offer philosophical ethics classes for children from kindy to year 6.
Umina Beach, Ettalong, Woy Woy, Woy Woy South, Empire Bay and Pretty Beach Public Schools all offer ethics programs for students and the hunt for volunteer teachers is on as waitlists for classes are growing.
Ethics classes are discussion-based and are facilitated by trained volunteer teachers.
Parents, grandparents and members of the general community are invited to apply to be ethics teachers through the approved charity Primary Ethics.
"It's a rewarding way to be involved in your local school," said Ms Sue Ellis, who teaches a weekly class of eight to 10 year olds at Umina Beach Public School.
"This term we discussed being selfish, disagreeing respectfully, and bragging," Ms Ellis said.
"The students have lots of interesting opinions and learn from each other," she said.
Ethics classes are available for students who would normally attend "non-scripture" during the Special Religious Education (SRE/SEE or 'scripture') timeslot.
In ethics classes, children explore a range of stories and scenarios, discussing what they ought to do, how they ought to live, the kind of society they should have and what kind of person each of us should strive to be.
"I recommend it to anyone who is interested in helping kids develop their reasoning skills," said Ms Ellis.
Ethics is a branch of philosophy that examines ethical concepts and issues, asking what is right or wrong in particular circumstances.
The curriculum has been written for Primary Ethics and comprises a wide range of topics that primary-aged children ?nd interesting.
Students learn to think about these ethical matters together and engage in the give-and-take of reasoned argument.
This process allows children to properly consider other people's points of view and to be sincere, reasonable and listen respectfully in dealing with their di?erences and disagreements.
It's not only ethics teachers who are needed to run these programs successfully.
Each school also needs its own ethics coordinator, who has the role of school liaison and to support the school's ethics teachers.
There is also a volunteer regional manager, who manages the programs right across the Peninsula.
Anyone interested in volunteering to be a local Primary Ethics teacher can visit the Primary Ethics website at primaryethics.com.au or contact the Regional Manager for Primary Ethics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media release, 19 Sep 2016
Heidi McElnea, Primary Ethics