Introduction to Ethics at the EES

Ethics classes engage students in thoughtful discussion concerning themes specific for each academic year. As there is little to no outside work for these courses, grades are primarily based on classroom attendance and participation. A range of activities are employed by the teachers : large group discussions, group work, partner discussions, individual writing exercises, debates, and films. Goals for the course include :

  • searching for coherent and lucid answers with rigorous respect for facts and rational ideas
  • taking a personal, responsible stance leading students to be self-sufficient and receptive
  • developing a genuine moral code based on tolerance which includes being able to challenge oneself.

The themes studied generally focus around personal and social development. In S1 students examine the transition from primary school to secondary school. In S2 authority, health and happiness themes are taken up. Rights and duties are studied in S3 as students again recognize a time of transition from childhood to teenager. In S4 different cultural, political and economic structures are analyzed. In S5 communication, liberty and responsibility are looked at. In S6 students question their active roles in a democracy and explore the benefits and drawbacks of certain political systems. Ethical questions concerning science and technology are also raised. In S7 students propose values for their present and future lives while looking critically at the world around them today.