New ethics: Patriotism

Actually I had two new ethics things today. In my online classes I started a new topic, on patriotism. I wrote the lesson today, and then ran it three times in a row this evening. I need to add some more material, as I ran out in two of the classes. Some topics seem to generate lots of discussion and rambling answers from the kids, while others… don’t. This seems to be one of the latter sort. I’ll have to spend some time tomorrow morning adding a few more questions.

But first thing this morning I travelled over to the public school where I’ve been teaching ethics face to face with students since 2017. 2021 was a write-off, given COVID restrictions and school closures, but this year we are kicking off a new year of ethics lessons, hopefully to cover the full year as normal. Today we had a meeting from 08:15 with the new deputy principal of the school, so she could go through various admin details with us before we started – this meeting was with all of the ethics and scripture teachers (which teach simultaneously, depending on parental preferences).

Previously, we’d never had anything like this. We just showed up on our first day and bumbled around to find out which classes we had and where the rooms were, and there was no briefing on school discipline or anything. But this new deputy principal was super organised. She showed us the roll folders, and said there’d be info sheets on any students with special needs, and she gave us a step-by-step plan for dealing with any students who might misbehave in class, indicating a warning followed by sending the student to her office. This was all way more organised than anything I’ve seen at this school in the past five years. So that’s good!

As it turned out, the other years all had their first ethics class following this meeting, but the year 6 class that I’ve been assigned were away on a school camp, so I actually start teaching next week. I looked through the roll and it looks like I have 17 students, though the number may change before next week as parents shuffle their kids around. According to the rules I need to wear a surgical quality mask while on the school grounds, including during the lesson, for COVID protection reasons. So it’ll be interesting giving a whole lesson that way. Let’s see how it goes next week.

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One thought on “New ethics: Patriotism”

  1. patriotism – everybody’s for it if it’s their own country, and against it for other countries. You’d think people would have more to say about why, but it does boil down to tribalism, so I guess not so interesting after all.
    You should give samples of some axis-of-evil countries like North Korea or pre WW2 Germany – people were really proud of their country, even when it was committing war-crimes.

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