Our reigning National Championship Ethics Bowl team is pictured here preparing to defend their title this upcoming Friday. My involvement with The Ethics Institute at Kent Place has drastically changed my worldview and enhanced my high school career.
I decided to get involved with the Kent Place Ethics Institute because I have always been fascinated with questions that have more than one answer. In whatever class I was in, I found myself looking for deeper connections and ways of thinking. After entering the Kent Place middle school I soon learned that there was a name for my interests in these types of questions: ethics. I immediately sought involvement with the institute in as many ways as possible.
In the Ethics Institute, we learn that there is usually no right or wrong answer to a question, especially large-scale ones that involve many parties. For us, it becomes extremely important to understand both sides of an argument. Since engaging more with the Ethics Institute, I’ve become more of an ethical thinker, and am more able to think globally and across cultures. After being exposed to many different types of ideas and a myriad of global problems, I’ve become more understanding of other people’s opinions and points of view.
Ethics is woven into all our classes. In History 10, for example, I’m currently learning about World War II. One ethical debate that occurred was whether to drop the atomic bomb over Japan in order for the United States to end World War II. I wrote my essay on this issue, and when picking a stance for my thesis, I went into the class thinking that only one answer could be correct and that the other option was insane. After analyzing all the evidence and discussing my selection in class, my scope was widened to the other, “incorrect” response, which I now see is also correct. Knowing that at Kent Place we learn to think about the world through the perspectives of both our “allies” and our “enemies” means that we as a community can have open conversations about topics in today’s world. It also means we’re able to think about the world through a different lens, and that’s apparent when we talk to people outside of our community.
Ethics at Kent Place has taught me to look at situations from multiple perspectives. When talking to people with ideologies different from yours, it can seem frustrating to try to get them to see your point of view. I find that when I have a conversation with KPS students on topics about which we may disagree, I know I’ve learned about the other perspective and sometimes my own opinion has changed. When talking to someone who has no ethics training, there’s a difference in the way we communicate, and it’s harder to have an effective conversation, but I try and open her mind to my view as well as listen to hers. Ethics education has helped me to understand how to respectively engage with the people and the world around me, and I know that I'll be a greater student because of it.