An organisation which is passionate about helping children develop skills in ethical reasoning, critical thinking and respectful discussion is seeking volunteers.
April Saunders is the coordinator of the not-for-profit Primary Ethics program at Laurieton Public School.
“It teaches children how to think, not what to think,” she said.
In the classes April said children learn to remain curious and open minded, voice their opinions, listen to others and build on each others’ ideas.
She said children also learn how to disagree respectfully and understand they don’t have to accept the same idea as their friends.
“Ultimately they learn how to think things through and make well thought out decisions,” April said.
Barbara Martin is a Primary Ethics volunteer at Laurieton Public School and said she enjoys being a facilitator of the classes.
She said it’s very rewarding to witness the development of critical thinkers in the classroom.
The classes include scenarios, poems and stories, group work and activities to encourage children to think about what people might do in different situations, about how different circumstances might make a difference and the consequence of actions.
The lessons are designed to suit all stages within the school so younger children have a different curriculum compared to older students.
Younger children might discuss topics like hurting someone without meaning to, telling the truth, being kind, ownership and fairness.
Older children delve into topics including what it means to be a good friend, what it means to be greedy, punishment, homelessness, stealing and teasing.
Volunteers are facilitators of the community inquiry by following the detailed lesson without voicing their own opinions.
Roger Mika is an ethics teacher at Hastings Public School and is working to establish the subject at Lake Cathie Public School. He said for Primary Ethics to get started at the school it needs volunteers to put their hands up.
Mr Mika follows the philosophy that it takes a village to bring up a child.
“Following from that I involve myself in ethics teaching or mentoring,” he said.
April said volunteers are required to dedicate an hour of their time per week to prepare themselves for the class and to facilitate the school lesson which is 30 minutes.
She said it is a rewarding way to be involved in the Camden Haven community.
To become a qualified ethics teacher volunteers have to undergo a free two day training course.
People are required to obtain a police clearance and working with children check. Previous teaching experience is not required to be a volunteer.
If you would like to become a volunteer contact April on 0413 727 145 or for more information please visit the website www.primaryethics.com.au
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