A ground-breaking pilot Ethics program delivered by Constable Care Foundation in collaboration with Primary Ethics, and the WA Council of State School Organisations (WACSSO) was officially launched this week.
Students at Waikiki Primary School received a special visit from the Minister of Police, Road Safety, Defence Industry and Veteran Issues, The Hon. Paul Papalia MLA, Constable Care Foundation (CCF) CEO, David Gribble, renowned ethicist, Professor Stephan Millett and representatives from the WA Police Force as they explore the preliminary outcomes of the pilot Ethics program, that commenced in February 2022.
A team of 30 trained volunteers lead weekly 40-minute ethical reasoning and critical thinking discussion groups with participants from Year 5. Using curriculum materials to help guide them, the sessions explore ethical dilemmas and discuss the student’s ideas on what is right and wrong.
There are 12 schools involved in the program with nearly 600 students enrolled to participate.
Constable Care Foundation CEO, David Gribble said he was thrilled the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic had not disrupted the program and there were already promising signs of success.
“We are dedicated to making a difference to the lives of young people and we want them to be able to make the best possible life decisions,” he said.
“Convincingly, the research tells us educating children about ethics and empathy leads to more positive life outcomes for them. Through our pilot Ethics program, we expect to see an increase their social and communication skill, ethical reasoning, critical thinking abilities and improvements in literacy levels.
“Although still in its infancy, the feedback from teachers, principals, volunteers and parents of participants is very promising. If successful, CCF will look to offer a sustainable and ongoing program for all public primary schools across Western Australia.” Mr Gribble said.
Ethics expert, Professor Stephan Millett will lead the evaluation process following the conclusion of the pilot program.
CCF’s pilot Ethics Program is currently being conducted at Ashburton Drive Primary School, Baldivis Primary School, Cooinda Primary School, East Butler Primary School, East Kenwick Primary School, Lockridge Primary School, Marri Grove Primary School, Neerigen Brook Primary School, Rapids Landing Primary School, Rivergums Primary School, Waikiki Primary School and Westfield Park Primary School.