The Ethics Olympiad is a challenging philosophy event designed to develop divergent thinkers’ capacity to robustly yet respectfully discuss challenging ethical quandaries. On Tuesday, two teams of CHAC Year 8 and Year 9 students travelled to The Southport School on the Gold Coast to participate in the inaugural South-East Queensland Middle School Ethics Olympiad, with our Year 9 team winning the event.
Students involved were:
Year 8-9 team: Thomas Woods, Sarah Leonard, Kaya Lurie, Daniel Greenaway, Alison De La Cruz
Year 9 team (gold medallists): Alice Dagwell, Lily Chippendale, Liley Smith, Thomas Molesworth and Oliver Cameron.
This initiative builds on the very successful Ethics Bowl initiative in the US and Philosothons in Australasia. An Ethics Olympiad is a competitive yet collaborative event in which students analyse and discuss current, real-life ethical issues. It differs from a debate in that students are not assigned opposing views; rather, they defend whatever position they believe is right and win by showing that they have thought deeply and perceptively about the cases in question. The event encourages and promotes ethical awareness, critical thinking skills, civil discourse and an appreciation for diverse points of view.
Leading up to the event, students were introduced to basic philosophical approaches and developed their capacity to discuss issues in some depth. A special thanks to Gifted Education teacher, Ms Hogan, for working to prepare teams using her Philosothon experience.
Students involved found the experience eye-opening and quite different to the debating style of speaking that some of them are used to. CHAC teams were singled out for praise for their clarity of argument, depth of consideration and capacity to collaborate effectively as teams.
A Student Perspective
"On Tuesday, two teams from CHAC went to the Middle School Ethics Olympiad. Both teams thoroughly enjoyed the day, during which we were tasked with ethically discussing numerous topics. It was a great experience that was completely different to what we expected as we were able to take any view on the topic presented to us, unlike a debate where the opinions are assigned to each team. This enabled us to have some very in-depth conversations with other teams regarding a diverse range of issues. It was an experience that was enjoyed by all and we are looking forward to going again in the future,"- (Thomas Molesworth, Year 9).