Stage One Topics

Year 1 and Year 2 students (ages 6-8)

Empathy

Putting ourselves in others’ shoes – exercises and role play activities.

Being similar and being different

How are we different from one another? What would it be like if we were all exactly the same? How are we the same?

When is it fair?

Does being fair mean giving everyone in the group equal share? Or giving more to those who have contributed more to a project? Is it important to think carefully and for ourselves about what being fair means?

Good reasons

Children are encouraged to think for themselves about the (relational) properties of good reasons.

Different kinds of animals and different needs

What are the differences between wild animals and pets? Is it OK to keep wild animals as pets?

Is it important to understand the rules?

Is it sometimes hard to obey the rules laid down for us? Does understanding why a particular rule is important help us to follow that rule?

Stereotyping

In this topic, children are encouraged to think for themselves about stereotyping; about what it is and what, if anything, is wrong with it.

Being friends and being good friends

In this topic we encourage students to begin to think for themselves about what it is to ‘be friends with’ someone and what makes a good friend.

Coming to grips with inductive inference

In this topic, we build on students’ intuitive capacity to make inferences on the basis of past experiences.

Being kind and working out how others feel

In this topic, students consider what it is to be kind and how we might go about working out how others feel.

Pride

Using relevant examples, students will discuss the issue of what kinds of things we have a right to be proud of … and why.

How important are the reasons?

Students will engage in the practice of reason giving and, through a series of examples and exercises, be encouraged to think for themselves about the importance of this practice.

Are you the same person you used to be?

Children will discuss the question, ‘What is it that makes you one and the same person that you were when you were born?

Laziness

What is it to be lazy? Is there anything wrong with being lazy?

Examples and counter examples

Students will engage in the practice of giving examples and counter-examples and begin to think about the role such logical moves play in everyday reasoning.

Sharing with those in need

Children are encouraged to think for themselves about sharing and, more particularly, where there are circumstances in which they ought to share with others.

Courage

This topic encourages children to think for themselves about the idea that courage involves overcoming fear and whether it is important to work to develop courage as an aspect of character.

Forgiving & being forgiven

Students begin to think about their responses to wrongdoing, both when they are responsible for wronging another and when they are themselves victims of wrongdoing.

A different kind of courage

This topic extends the previous discussion of courage by encouraging students to think for themselves about the nature and importance of moral courage: that is, the courage required to act in accordance with our moral convictions (to do what we consider the right thing) despite the likelihood of adverse consequences.

Coming to grips with deductive reasoning

This topic aims to build upon students’ intuitive notions of validity and invalidity.

Ownership

Children think for themselves about the notions of private and common property. They consider whether we have a moral responsibility to share what we own and whether there are some things that no one should be allowed to own.

How do we know we’ve done something wrong?

In this topic, we use age-appropriate stories and examples to foster children’s developing awareness of the criteria they employ in determining whether or not an action is morally wrong.

When, if ever, should we tell on someone?

This topic encourages students to think well and for themselves about when, if ever, we should tell on someone.