Ethical Education at Second-level

Ethical Education is a subject taught from 1st to 6th year in Educate Together second-level schools. Ethical Education aims to encourage and provide a space for students to develop awareness of different perspectives, reflect on their own views and biases and to think critically, question and take action on equality and justice issues in their communities.

“Ethical Education is all learning about yourself, the world you live in and how you can improve it.”

Cork Educate Together Secondary School student

Curriculum strands

There are nine strands of Educate Together’s Second-level Junior Cycle Ethical Education curriculum. They are:
  1. Values: Students explore what is of value to them and what has influenced this. The concepts of morality, principles, facts and opinions are also examined.
  2. Making Moral and Ethical Decisions: Students apply different approaches to ethical decision making and consider different ethical dilemmas using these approaches.
  3. Beliefs and Worldviews: Students investigate different ideological standpoints and religious beliefs and identify how these might impact on an individual’s worldview.
  4. Different Teachings and Perspectives: Students study a number of texts, myths and narratives and consider how these may have influenced human behaviour and thought.
  5. Diversity in Ireland: Students explore diversity in a local and national context and think critically about the experience of minority groups in Irish society, particularly experiences of discrimination.
  6. Migration: Students develop an enhanced awareness of the language associated with migration; discover how migration has had an impact on Ireland and; critically analyse how the media reports migration in different contexts.
  7. Power and participation: Students reflect on and assess the power and decision-making processes in their school.
  8. Gender Equality: Students research, debate and reflect on issues related to gender equality in national and international contexts.
  9. Global Citizenship Education: Students increase their knowledge of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and take action in relation to at least one of them.

Online resources

Teachers, parents and students can access downloadable lessons and other resources for Ethical Education curriculum at both primary and second-level on the online resource bank: