Teaching Ethics through the Philosophy for Children Approach

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 2 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 24

Contact Hours: 10

Assessment Hours: 16


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

Ethics has been introduced in Maltese schools and is currently being rolled out across all state schools.  It is also available in some independent schools. This module will introduce participants to Ethics as a curricular subject, and the methodologies and modes of assessment associated with it.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Demonstrate knowledge of the Ethics syllabus and reflect critically on it;

b. Critically engage with research literature related to the Philosophy for Children approach;

c. Critically evaluate how this methodology contributes to the teaching of Ethics;

d. Critically assess appropriate strategies for using the Philosophy for Children approach;

e. Design and review lesson plans and resources to teach Ethics in the primary classroom;

f. Critically evaluate strategies for assessing children according to the Learning Outcomes Framework;

g. Set specific tasks aimed at assessing particular Learning Outcomes of the ethics syllabus.


a. Demonstrate familiarity with the Ethics Syllabus and its rationale and develop a number of lesson plans and activities related to the primary Ethics syllabus;

b. Differentiate between methodologies focusing on critical thinking, including the Philosophy for Children approach and DeBono’s Six Thinking Hats;

c. Demonstrate familiarity with theories of assessment and learning and the Learning Outcomes Framework for Ethics.


a. Select and critically evaluate stories and other forms of texts for their ethical content and incorporate them into lesson plans;

b. Adopt a Community of Inquiry approach in the Ethics primary classroom;

c. Facilitate a Community of Inquiry model within the primary classroom;

d. Design tasks and rubrics for the assessment of Ethics in the primary classroom.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Practical Assignment Tasks.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Cam, P. (2012). Teaching Ethics in Schools. Camberwell, Vic.: Australian Council for Educational Research. 
  2. Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in education. Cambridge University Press.
  3. Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (2015). Educators’ Guide for Pedaogy and Assessment: Ethics
  4. Pojman, L. P., & Fieser, J. (2017). Cengage advantage ethics: Discovering right and wrong. Nelson Education.
  5. Hand, M. (2018). A theory of moral education. Routledge.
  6. Alexander, H. A. (2016). Assessing virtue: measurement in moral education at home and abroad. Ethics and Education11(3), 310-325.
  7. Colom, R., Moriyón, F. G., Magro, C., & Morilla, E. (2014). The long-term impact of Philosophy for Children: A longitudinal study (preliminary results). Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis35(1), 50-56.
  8. Gelerstein, D., Del Rio, R., Nussbaum, M., Chiuminatto, P., & López, X. (2016). Designing and implementing a test for measuring critical thinking in primary school. Thinking Skills and Creativity20, 40-49.
  9. Gorard, S., Siddiqui, N., & See, B. H. (2017). Can ‘Philosophy for Children’improve primary school attainment?. Journal of Philosophy of Education51(1), 5-22.
  10. LAM, C. M. (2019). Is it possible to teach critical thinking to Hong Kong students through Philosophy for Children?. Philosophy for Children in Confucian Societies: In Theory and Practice.
Supplementary Reading List:
  1. Worley, P. (2019). 100 Ideas for Primary Teachers: Questioning.  London, Bloomsbury.
  2. Worley, P., & Levi, T. (2013). The if machine: Philosophical enquiry in the classroom.
  3. Burgh, G., & Thornton, S. (2017). From Harry to Philosophy Park: The development of philosophy for children resources in Australia.
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