From Foundation to Level 2, the curriculum focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and understandings to approach ethical problems and evaluate outcomes. Students develop a vocabulary to engage with ethical problems and an understanding that personal feelings can effect decision-making and actions.
By the end of Level 2, students identify and describe ethical concepts using illustrative examples from familiar situations and a basic vocabulary about ethical problems and their outcomes.
Students identify and explain acts and situations that have ethical dimensions, using illustrative examples. They explain that personal feelings may influence the way people behave in situations where ethical issues are involved.
In Levels 3 and 4, the curriculum focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and understandings to evaluate particular acts, and to identify and critically respond to ethical problems. Students extend their vocabulary and begin to reflect on means and ends. Students develop an understanding that particular acts and their outcomes can be valued differently by different people, and extend their understanding of factors that may effect decision-making and actions.
By the end of Level 4, students use concrete examples from a range of contexts to explain the contested meaning of concepts and significance of acts. They explain how to identify ethical considerations in problems.
Students use examples to evaluate ethical actions in relation to their outcomes. They explain the role of personal values and dispositions in ethical decision-making and actions, recognising areas of contestability.
In Levels 5 and 6, the curriculum focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and understandings to evaluate the significance of ethical matters. Students explore the basis of a range of ethical principles and reflect on means and ends. Students consider decision-making approaches based on thinking about the consequences and duties. Students develop an understanding that a range of factors play a role in ethical decision-making.
By the end of Level 6, students evaluate the meaning of ethical concepts and analyse their value, identifying areas of contestability. They explain different ways to respond to ethical problems and identify issues related to these.
Students identify different ethical issues associated with a particular problem. They identify the basis of a range of ethical principles and explain the role and significance of conscience and reasoning in ethical decision-making.
In Levels 7 and 8, the curriculum focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and understandings to explore the tensions related to ethical concepts and decision making. Students extend their exploration of the two major ways to approach ethical deliberation – thinking about consequences and thinking about duties, including the extent of ethical obligation. Students develop an understanding that ethical problems may not be resolved in a straightforward way.
By the end of Level 8, students explain different ways ethical concepts are represented and analyse their value to society, identifying areas of contestability. They articulate how criteria can be applied to determine the importance of ethical concerns.
Students analyse the differences in principles between people and groups. They explain different views on the extent of ethical obligation and analyse their implications for the consequences of and duties involved in ethical decision-making and action. They analyse the role of context and experience in ethical decision-making and action.
In Levels 9 and 10, the curriculum focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and understandings to analyse and evaluate ethical problems and their resolution and to identify and manage contestability in ethical matters. Students reflect on whether there are ethical concepts and principles common across people, groups and cultures.
By the end of Level 10, students explain connections and distinctions between ethical concepts, identifying areas of contestability in their meanings and relative value.
Students analyse and evaluate contested approaches to thinking about consequences and duties in relation to ethical issues. They examine complex issues, identify the ethical dimensions and analyse commonality and difference between different positions. They explain how different factors involved in ethical decision-making can be managed.