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?

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

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