Ethics or Scripture: Choice Available in Port Stephens’ Schools

Students now have the option to attend Ethics class during the commonly-offered Scripture class time.
Students now have the option to attend Ethics class during the commonly-offered Scripture class time.

 

 

ETHICS classes, organised by the Primary Ethics association, are now being offered across Port Stephens.

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In schools where it is offered, parents and their children now have the option of either allowing their child to receive religious education, commonly called Scripture and taught by a volunteer who is also a member of a local church; allowing their child to attend Ethics class also facilitated by a volunteer from the local community; or to have supervised free time.

Schools in Port Stephens that currently offer Ethics Classes include Medowie Public School, the first in the region to begin this program in 2012, Shoal Bay, Anna Bay, and Wirreanda Public Schools.

Parents in other schools are also looking into establishing Ethics classes.

The impetus for the choice of Ethics rather than Scripture came about by those members of the wider community who were concerned that religion was being taught in schools, which many proponents of Ethics argue is not appropriate in a secular jurisdiction.

The Ethics classes offered are based on secular (or, non-religious) principles of viewing the world.

Ms Heidi McElnea, Communications Manager for Primary Ethics told News Of The Area, “In ethics classes, children learn how to think logically, disagree respectfully and support their arguments with evidence, rather than act according to blind habit or peer pressure.”

“They consider decisions that affect them, their friends and family and the whole world. These thinking skills, once learned, accompany them into adulthood.”

The conundrum for parents and their children is whether to replace their child’s attendance at the long-running, traditional Scripture class model with a new, secular, Ethics class.

Ms McElnea also said, “There are 78 topics from kindergarten to year 6, all approved by the Department of Education.”

There are many options to weigh up in the quest for different organisations to influence children’s perspectives and formal schooling.

For more information about the Ethics curriculum go to: www.primaryethics.com.au.

 

By Heather SHARP

One thought on “Ethics or Scripture: Choice Available in Port Stephens’ Schools

  1. woo hoo. goodbye fairytales. hello 2017!
    finally the cults are being removed from schools and the kids arent being brainwashed with dribble like our planet is 6000 years old created by a bearded old man sitting on a cloud.

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