The High School Ethics Bowl (THSEB) is a program that provides students early exposure to critical thinking skills that will benefit them no matter what they do in their lives. It isn’t just about promoting a particular narrow area of interest, or promoting the humanities for the humanities sake. It is about helping students better understand not just their own views, but those of others. The THSEB helps students think more about how those value judgments are formed, and then when a disagreement crops up they can hopefully see that they should not immediately dismiss those who disagree with them.
Consequently, the THSEB is a discussion, not a debate. Teams are not required to choose opposing sides, nor is the goal to “win” the argument by belittling the other team or its position. The focus is on reasoning, rather than rhetoric, and has many benefits for student learning, including honing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are proven to boost ACT and SAT scores and that are explicitly targeted by the TNCore standards. Additionally, the event encourages the consideration of perspectives beyond one’s own when making ethical judgments.
Sponsor: Anne Fine
Contact information: Anne.Fine@Knoxschools.org