Public primary schools in the Central West are among a growing number of NSW schools which now offer philosophical ethics classes for children from kindergarten to year 6.
Ethics programs have been held at Forbes North Public School since 2014 and a school in Parkes hopes to come on board very soon.
The hunt for new volunteers is on as ethics classes resume for 2018.
Ethics classes are discussion-based and are facilitated by trained volunteer teachers. Students are encouraged to ask questions, be curious, and share their own ideas.
In doing so, they learn the skills to make well-reasoned decisions about ethical issues.
Parents, grandparents and members of the general community are all invited to apply to be ethics teachers through the approved charity Primary Ethics.
“We have had such a great response from both the students and parents involved in ethics classes over the last few years,” Forbes Coordinator Tricia Greenhill said.
“Unfortunately, a couple of our ethics teachers have recently moved interstate and so we are in need of replacements.
“Finding volunteers is very difficult, but our volunteer teachers find teaching very rewarding and enjoyable.”
The newest recruit, Sinty Duffy, will be starting her teaching this Term at Forbes North.
Mrs Duffy is studying Early Childcare and Education, and is hoping to gain a lot of experience from the volunteer teaching.
“Ethics is a great way to be involved with kids in a small amount of time each week whilst teaching them how to view different topics without judgement,” she said.
Mary Hinchcliffe is back again for her third year. Ms Hinchcliffe has been a wonderful asset to the Forbes team.
“Primary Ethics is a gentle and fun way to give kids the opportunity to express their opinions and reflect on values in a supportive environment,” 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 we ought to do, how we ought to live, the kind of society we should have and what kind of person each of us should strive to be.
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 especially written for Primary Ethics and comprises a wide range of topics that primary-aged children ﬁnd 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 diﬀerences and disagreements.
There are currently vacancies for volunteer ethics teachers and ethics coordinators right across the Central West.
Visit the Primary Ethics website www.primaryethics.com.au or contact Rob Harden, Volunteering Manager for Primary Ethics at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02 8068 7752.