A little volunteering role with big returns

Media Release Thursday 12 January 2017 

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It’s not guaranteed to make a person lose weight or get fit, but volunteering to teach ethics to children satisfies a number of other common New Year’s resolutions such as learning new skills, meeting new people and giving back to the community.

Primary Ethics is seeking volunteers to teach ethics in public primary schools across NSW. The not-for-profit was established in 2010 to give parents and carers the option of ethics education for their children. Currently 32,000 children receive ethics education. Bruce Hogan, Chair of Primary Ethics, wants to see that number grow.

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Newsletter – October 2016

Welcome to the October edition of Primary Ethics news.

Whether you’re a volunteer, donor, parent, or general supporter of ethics education, we are exceptionally happy to have you on board!

In this edition, our Chair Bruce Hogan introduces our new director and new website.

We report back from Regional Training and the recent public forum on ethics education in Newcastle.

Congratulations are also in order for our volunteers, including a nomination for volunteer of the year.

Plus you could win a double pass to the next IQ2 event ‘Privacy is not for Children’ which promises to be a hearty debate.

Read the full newsletter  Add me to your mailing list.

Media Release 11 October 2016

Ready for big school: New website schools parents on ethics class option

As parents and carers around the state prepare their four and five year olds for ‘big school’, charity Primary Ethics has launched a new website to help ease the enrolment process.

Since the option for ethics classes was removed from the Department of Education enrolment form last year, it has become difficult for parents and carers to opt for ethics classes, with only a box provided in which to nominate the student’s religion. Continue reading

Public Forum: Ethics in the Classroom

WEDNESDAY October 12, 6pm, Souths Leagues Club Merewether (Newcastle) 

What? Public Forum: Ethics in the classroom – lessons from the first five years.
When? 6.00 – 7.30pm, Wednesday 12st October 2016
Where? Souths Leagues Club, Merewether
Who? Open to the general public. Admission $5 donation
Contact: Speakers are available to the media (Contact Ross 0401 522875)

Newcastle was among the first regions to roll out the Primary Ethics program in 2011. What have we learned since then?

Newcastle Ethics Classes

Ethics class in action at Hunter School Of The Performing Arts

In the next public forum hosted by local think-tank the Newcastle Institute we’ll be discussing the growth of philosophical ethics in the classroom and the challenges and rewards of implementing the Primary Ethics program.
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Community of Inquiry comes to Newcastle

The University of Newcastle is hosting a free public event on Tuesday October 4, 10am – 12pm to discuss Philosophy and Ethics in Schools.

RSVP by 28 September to education@newcastle.edu.au.

Recent research has confirmed what many philosophy teachers have suspected – doing philosophy and ethics improves academic and social outcomes, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. So perhaps we ought to do more of it, but how?

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Census results are in!

The first official Primary Ethics Census was held in May, and the results are now in.

Thank you to every ethics teacher who submitted their data. The response rate was close to 100% which was a great effort.

An overview:

In May 2016, ethics teachers taught 32,272 children in over 400 schools. This represents 7% of NSW primary school children.

We can see from the results that 60% of schools are facilitating classes across at least three of the four stages of primary school. The stages are early stage 1 (kindergarten), stage 1 (years 1 & 2), stage 2 (years 3 & 4) and stage 3 (years 5 & 6).

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US Bioethics Commission commends Primary Ethics program

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President: On behalf of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission), we present to you Bioethics for Every Generation: Deliberation and Education in Health, Science, and Technology. In this legacy report, the Bioethics Commission focuses on two essential, mutually reinforcing missions—both practical and ethical—in our constitutional democracy: democratic deliberation and ethics education. These two tools can and should be used in tandem to address and resolve complex problems in developing health, science, and technology policy for our society.

The US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has released its report titled: Bioethics for Every Generation: Deliberation and Education in Health, Science, and Technology.

The 8 year-long commission examined how democratic societies should make decisions about complex ethical issues in health care, technology and research.

The Bioethics Commission is an advisory panel of the nation’s leaders in medicine, science, ethics, religion, law, and engineering,  The Commission advises the President on bioethical issues arising from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology.  It seeks to identify and promote policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in a socially and ethically responsible manner.

The report recommended ethics education from an early age and singled out the Primary Ethics program as unique in the world due to the dual benefits of introducing primary school children to ethics as well as broader community exposure to ethics through volunteer involvement. Continue reading