Moral & ethical - 2

Dr Sue Knight, Philosopher and Curriculum Author,

What is moral education and what should teachers know when teaching it?

7-8pm AEST Tuesday 21 May 2019

   Presenter bio

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that raises questions about what we ought to do and how we ought to live.  These questions are explored by means of rational argument, and underpinned by moral theories which, for over two and a half thousand years have been, and are still being, questioned, tested and modified.  In this this presentation I will introduce you to these theories and demonstrate ways they may be used in the classroom to foster, in students of all ages, a disposition to think well and for themselves about ethical issues.


What you will learn and why you should attend:
Public schools have, on the whole, shied away from tackling ethical issues at a deep level, on the grounds that doing so will result in indoctrination.  Yet it might well be argued that sound ethical reasoning is essential to the welfare of both individuals and society as a whole; that, indeed,  developing in students a disposition to think well and for themselves about ethical issues is one of the most important goals of schooling.

In this session you will work with sections of the developmental Primary Ethics curriculum (perhaps the only recent such curriculum) to learn to:
-Recognise what counts as an ethical issue (the field is far wider than is generally recognised, encompassing activities such as voting, food choices etc.);
- Become familiar with the some of the processes of ethical decision making that philosophers have identified, and with the structure of ethical reasoning;
- Recognise the consequences of adopting either an ethical- relativist or appeal- to- authority approach to ethical reasoning;
- Start to become comfortable with Socratic questioning.

For more details of the Primary Ethics curriculum see

AITSL Australian Professional Standards for Teachers addressed in this webinar:
2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice
3.3 Use teaching strategies (Socratic questioning  can be applied to any teaching are, and fosters understanding rather than mere recall)
4.1 Support student participation (the pedagogy employed in the teaching of philosophical ethics is collaborative)