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Students could be tested on ethics – ACARA

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The Educator | 12 Sep 2016, 10:00 AM Agree 0
The body that runs NAPLAN says students could soon be tested on ‘ethical understanding’ as well as literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Leonie Johnson | 13 Sep 2016, 04:38 PM Agree 0
    Ethics education in schools has the potential to enable children to develop life-long skills in critical thinking and respectful discussion. Whether assessing those skills on an individual basis undermines the learning process is an interesting idea for further exploration.

    Primary Ethics’ program of ethics education for primary school aged children is based on the age old tradition of western philosophical inquiry. Children practice the process of genuine inquiry, discussing ethical issues together through the give and take of reasoned argument.

    Our program is designed to support children to become questioning and inquiring individuals with the ability to recognise ethical issues and a willingness and capacity to explore those issues with those around them in a well-reasoned, productive and respectful way. The ability to develop a well-reasoned argument as well as to spot flaws in arguments is a foundational skill in our program.

    Some of these abilities can be assessed. What makes our program unique, however, is that it is not subject to the assessment requirements of school education. Students can participate in ethics classes knowing that they won’t receive a mark or have certain achievements expected of them. It may be that this provides a certain freedom to genuinely engage in the inquiry process.

    Leonie Johnson
    Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Ethics

  • Dan Guenther | 22 Sep 2016, 08:29 AM Agree 0
    Segregation of children from the age of kindergarten based upon the religious beliefs of their parents has been staunchly opposed by FIRIS. Suspension of DE policies to outsource teaching responsibilities to special interest volunteers has been staunchly opposed by FIRIS. However, to my knowledge (as a long time FIRIS supporter), FIRIS are not opposed to children learning ethics/philosophy in an inclusive environment by professional NSW teachers.

    Your article fails to make this important distinction and should be corrected....on ethical grounds.
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