As you may or may not know, today Verity Firth confirmed that the State of New South Wales has approved the introduction ethics classes into primary schools. Verity Firth is the NSW minister for education and training and this is a link to her blog: http://verityfirth.com/2010/11/ethics-classes-approved
(those of you who already know all about it, jump to "complete findings here", I've added stars to help you find it. You're welcome)
Earlier this year a trial was run in a number of schools across the state. As you can imagine, there was plenty on controversy surrounding the trials. The churches and religious lobby groups didn't like the idea of secular ethics very much, and kicked up a bit of a stink.
The St. James Ethics centre formulated the curriculum. After the trial there was a complete analysis of the classes by the University of South Australia. The investigation was far more invasive than anything the SRE(special religious education) classes have ever had to face. And, credit to St James ethics centre, the findings were very positive.
The complete findings are here:
What I really wanted to point out was recommendation number 6 on page 83:
That information about SRE curricula and other such courses at individual schools be made available to parents / carers in the form of fact sheets to mirror that DET fact sheets for parents on Gender or Drug education. The fact sheets should provide no more than a summary of the aims and processes of the different SRE offerings, and each summary should be no more than two paragraphs in length. It might be useful for the DET to design a template for this purpose"
I just thought it was interesting that non-Christians have to jump through hoops and undergo intense scrutiny to teach about ethics. When, on the other hand, parents are not privy to the goings on in SRE. @NathanLee on twitter thinks that it might pay NOT to know what SRE is teaching (twitter hashtag is #NSWethics check it out for more info over the next little while).
What could possibly be so bad that SRE has to hide its curriculum?
P.S. I neglected to mention Penny Sharpe MLC, and her hard work pushing the ethics classes. Penny gave this little blogger her first polictical interview for her journalism subjects and she's a dragonboater.