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IPE 101: Foundations of Ethical Thinking: School Students

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10 weeks - study time 1 - 2 hours per week

The ten week foundation course is designed to introduce students to ethical dilemmas; basic ethics theory; deliberation on ethical issues that impact on their lives; use of the Institute thinking tools; respectful, creative debate within the course community; constructive analysis of the results of course community debate; the skills and confidence to formulate and post their own ethical issues to the course community. Topics and tasks include:

  • What does it mean 'to be ethical'?
  • What are my values and where do they come from?
  • How can I solve ethical problems?
  • How can I offer justified solutions?
  • Can you be 'right' in ethics?
  • Basic ethical theory
  • Encouragement to post and solve original ethical dilemmas
  • Thinking within a community - learning about oneself and others where cultures and values differ and sometimes conflict
  • Analysing reports of ethical debates
  • Summarising the results of ethical debate and suggesting constructive solutions

Who can study this course?

This course is suitable for any school student; either as an independent learner, as part of a school class, or as a home-schooled student.

What you can expect to learn

  • Basic ethical theory
  • Thinking skills
  • Debating skills
  • Communication skills
  • Digital citizenship
  • Digital skills
  • Basic research skills
  • Some of the values you hold and why you hold them
  • Other people’s values and why they may differ from your own

What you can expect to gain

  • Confidence
  • Support from highly experienced tutors
  • Support from peers
  • Ethical knowledge and awareness
  • A certificate of completion or merit
  • A portfolio of evidence of engagement, which you keep forever
  • Continuing membership of your course community even after completion of the course

Who will benefit from this course?

Any basically literate and numerate school student will benefit from this course, in particular by being introduced to high-level learning; by engaging with others in a community of inquiry, by learning to express herself clearly and accurately, by engaging with relevant ethical and social issues and being able to suggest strategies for progress.

The course will suit any age from 8 to 18, however we may split for age range at certain points in the course, at our discretion.

Students keen to expand their critical thinking and ethical reasoning are well-suited to this course. Students in their final two years, considering university entry, are likely to benefit considerably from the quality of the Foundation course. Students at this level are also able to enrol in specialist papers and so gain important preparation for their university subjects (for example, students hoping to study medicine may choose to specialise in the Medical Ethics option, students aiming to study law may elect to take the Legal Ethics option, and so on).

What you need to study this paper?

To study this paper it is essential you have an internet linked computer or other internet enabled device and email access to receive notifications of activity on your course(s).

Paper Coordinators: David Seedhouse and Amanda Lees

Teaching Period(s): 10 week blocks commencing bi-monthly on the 1st of the month, bi-monthly

Online: Entirely

Teaching Style: Facilitating student learning. Supporting questioning and inquiry. Discussing set readings. Engaging in open debate.

How much time will you need to commit to the course?

1 - 2 hours per week is adequate, but many students will wish to spend more time than this and will benefit accordingly.

How much does this course cost?

$195.00. Free to schools who subscribe to the Institute of Practical Ethics in 2014.

How this paper will be assessed?

Assessment is made according to:

  • Level of constructive engagement in the course community
  • Number and quality of ethical issues posted using the thinking tools
  • Use of the Dashboard challenge
  • Quality of a 1,000 word essay

Enrolment process

In bulk via a school. Individually via the enrolment page Click Here

Information in this document is provided as a general guide only for students and is subject to alteration.