Early Stage One Topics

Kindergarten students (ages 5-6)

Questions, puzzlement and what is okay

We begin to engage students in the ways of thinking and the pedagogical (or teaching) approach that underlie the Primary Ethics curriculum, as well as to build understanding about the behaviour expected in ethics classes.

Secrets and a big, important question

We aim to foster students’ developing capacity to make logical inferences and encourage and support students to think for themselves about the ethical question of whether or not it is okay to tell a friend’s secret.

Doing harm without meaning to

We encourage students to think for themselves about the difference between ‘meaning’ or intending to cause harm and causing harm ‘accidentally’ or without wanting to.

Intentions – what might a whale know?

Students think more about the difference between meaning to do something and doing something ‘by accident’. Also, do animals sometimes mean to do the things they do? What role does knowledge play in the forming of intentions?

Making things up, being cross and hurting someone

This topic supports children to think for themselves about whether it is OK to ‘make up a story’ in order to conceal a mistake and whether being cross with someone is a good enough reason to physically hurt them.

Showing off, telling on someone and finding reasons

We ask children to think for themselves about why ‘showing off’ and ‘telling on someone’ are usually viewed as negative behaviours and if it is OK to tell on someone just to get them into trouble.

Disagreeing

This topic encourages students to recognise instances of moral disagreement, and to engage respectfully with ethical views that differ from their own.

Changing your mind

In this topic we encourage students to recognise times at which they change their minds and begin to think about the grounds on which they do so.

Owning up and telling the truth

This topic encourages students to recognise instances of moral disagreement, and to engage respectfully with ethical views that differ from their own.

Does telling the truth matter?

Children continue to think for themselves about whether it is important to tell the truth, given that if we don’t, we can harm ourselves or others. And is it important even if you are unlikely to be found out?

How can we work out what’s true?

Children think about the role that both observation and reason play in working out what’s true.

Stories, distinctions and inferences

Students will think about the notion of a story and the difference between a make-believe story and a true story. In doing so, they exercise skills of making distinctions, drawing inferences and following a train of thought.