Food for thought

New bite-sized ethical dilemmas for children at home

The not-for-profit organisation that runs ethics classes in NSW schools has developed a selection of ethics exercises, called Bites, for children to participate in at home. Each week in term 2 Primary Ethics will upload two new Bites for children; one designed for students from kindergarten to year 2, and another for those in years 3 – 6.

Primary Ethics CEO Evan Hannah says the lessons will help provide continuity for students who take ethics classes.

“Around 45,000 students in NSW have to miss out on their usual ethics classes for some weeks yet, so we’ve put together these lessons to help children to keep exercising their questioning skills until their usual volunteer teacher can join them in classes at school,” he said.

“These activities to help children with their thinking and reasoning have a role to play in helping them to process the current changes that we are all experiencing due to the impact of COVID 19,” Evan added.

They will also introduce a number of new students to the practical study of philosophical ethics.

“Primary Ethics Bites will be available for every child and their family, and like our school-based program, it will be free of charge. We hope the Bites provoke some deep thinking around the dinner table.”

Each Bite provides an ethical dilemma presented in audio or audio visual format along with a written version. Children are encouraged to read, watch or listen to the stories which provide a context for the dilemma, and ponder the questions provided. Siblings and others in the household are encouraged to participate, too.

“These fun Bites use engaging stories to encourage the use of questions and considering alternative views to help build skills in critical thinking and ethical reasoning. At schools we use a ‘community of inquiry’ approach, and Bites are written to extend that into home-based lessons.”

“We’re grateful for the assistance of Primary Ethics Volunteers who, along with their children, have offered to voice the various parts in our stories and provide a range of diverse views for the discussion aspect of the recordings,” Evan said.

The first four Bites are available to download in audio, audio/visual or print format from primaryethics.com.au/education.

Facebook bite 4