Good news for parents wanting options other than scripture for their children: NSW Labor has announced that should it win government, it will reinstate the ethics option on public school enrolment forms.
For volunteer ethics teachers like Janet Granek from Scotts Head and Annamarie Cohen from Nambucca Heads it is pleasing as it opens the possibility of more children taking part in what is an enjoyable, eye-opening hour each week.
“The classes are all about teaching children about critical thinking,” Annamarie said.
“It is the only class where they are actually invited to talk and there is no right or wrong.
“We discuss all sorts of things, such as ‘being lazy’ or caring for animals or the environment or being a friend.
“It is all about giving the kids the chance to think about what they are doing and why they are doing it. They love it!”
Inspired by Annamarie’s experience, Janet enrolled to train with NSW Primary Ethics, a non-profit company established to provide young people with the space to explore ethical dilemmas within a secular context.
“The training was excellent – you don’t need a teaching background, this is all about facilitation … you are not giving your opinion, you are helping the students find a way to express their own opinions … and understand why they hold them,” Janet said.
“It’s wonderful to see them building those critical thinking skills.”
On June 23 and 24 NSW Primary Ethics will hold their Teacher Training course in Port Macquarie.
This is an opportunity for schools in the Mid North Coast Region to offer additional Ethics classes at their schools or start offering NSW Primary Ethics for the first time.
It is also an opportunity for anyone who is interested to volunteer and do something that is life changing.
Volunteers are needed now to teach ethics classes at a school near you.
If you are interested, check out the Primary Ethics website.