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Colorado Ethics Bowl

Dear Colleagues,

The Center for Values and Social Policy at CU-Boulder and Peak to Peak Charter School would like to invite your school to participate in the first Colorado High School Ethics Bowl in February 2017. High School Ethics Bowl is a competitive yet collaborative event where students grapple with timely, real-life ethical issues and engage in rigorous and respectful discussion of these complex moral issues. Across the nation last year (2015-16), approximately 2,700 students participated in National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB) on over 330 teams competing at 30 regional bowls. NHSEB offers students a unique opportunity to develop ethical awareness, critical thinking, civil discourse, civic engagement, and an appreciation for multiple, diverse points of view.

Each year, NHSEB releases a wide-ranging set of cases that serve as the focus for the year. Teams consisting of 3-7 students meet together regularly with a coach/sponsor to research the cases, deliberate on the problems they raise, and identify how they think the issues should be addressed. In competition, teams take turns analyzing the cases and responding to questions and comments from the other team and a panel of judges. An ethics bowl differs from a debate competition in that students are not assigned opposing views; rather, they defend whichever position they think is correct, provide each other with constructive criticism, and win by demonstrating that they have thought deeply and systematically about the cases and engaged respectfully and in an open-minded way with the other participants. According to NHSEB, the goal is to do more than teach students how to think through ethical issues: it is to teach students how to think through ethical issues together, as fellow citizens in a complicated and often contentious democratic society.

One of the most frequently asked questions about starting an ethics bowl team is whether the coach/sponsor needs a background in philosophy; the answer is absolutely not. NHSEB provides extensive, high-quality materials to support teams through the case preparation process, including a coaching guide and an accessible text on ethical reasoning developed for high school students. Additionally, the Center for Values and Social Policy and Peak to Peak will be offering an information session/training for prospective coaches and students at Peak to Peak Charter School, 800 Merlin Drive, Lafayette, on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 5-7 pm.

For more information about NHSEB, see the attached flyer or visit the NHSEB website, and if you or someone at your school is interested in starting an ethics bowl team or if you would just like more information, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to working with you to introduce High School Ethics Bowl to your students.  

Best regards,

David Boonin Karen Amidon

Professor of Philosophy High School Instructor, Ethics Bowl Coach

Director, Center for Values and Social Policy Peak to Peak Charter School

University of Colorado 303-453-4737

david.boonin@colorado.edu karen.amidon@bvsd.org

CPD Colorado,
Aug 31, 2016, 9:36 AM