The DLCC’s Compassion for Schools project announced here is progressing fast with several classes already in development. Further information about the initiative is provided below.
The purpose of the Compassion for Schools project is to introduce secular ethics into primary and secondary education in the UK and beyond. Today’s world presents children with a unique set of challenges in the face of which they are more than ever in need of an ethical education.
Living in a modern multicultural society requires that children enter into relationships with people of diverse cultural backgrounds while the pace of technological and scientific change means that the social, emotional and life learning skills they acquire at school are of ever increasing importance. The problem of fake news and deliberate disinformation requires that they learn from the earliest age how to exercise judgement and think for themselves about ethical issues.
The Compassion for Schools project will provide children with these skills. The tools of an ethical education based on compassion will allow them to make ethically informed judgements, to respond empathetically to moral challenges, and to identify false or misleading arguments. Up until now ethical education has been largely combined with religious instruction. By focussing on compassion the DLCC course will be completely open in terms of belief or unbelief, applicable to pupils of any faith or none. The course will also be strongly inter-disciplinary, designed to be delivered either entirely as an PSHE/Citizenship module or by individual subject teachers in each of the core subjects.
The DLCC will provide online resources for teachers employing the course as well as in-person training events. materials will include creatively produced videos and engaging animations. The videos will contain specially commissioned footage of the Dalai Lama and other prominent religious and secular figures.
The DLCC is in partnership with the Dragon School, Oxford, one of the country’s leading schools for 4-13 year olds. The first pilot course will run this month with a view to having the full course ready for trialling in September 2017. After nine months of development, we intend to be ready to take the course to further schools nationwide, and overseas from September 2018.