How does it work?

The Ethics Olympiad provides schools and universities with a unique opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, collaboration and communication. It is designed to get students thinking and ultimately working together on some of the tough moral issues of our time. Our objective is to do more than just help them think through ethical issues: It provides a positive and constructive space to think through ethical issues together, as fellow citizens in a complex moral and political community.

The students (Eth-letes) are trained by a coach (usually a teacher) as they prepare for an Ethics Olympiad. Age-appropriate and interesting ethical cases are released each year, and these are provided to coaches before the event. We use Zoom to bring the teams together on the day and so all you need is access to the internet.

At an Ethics Olympiad Eth-letes build and critique their own and other arguments as they respond to a question. How they respond to the question is completely up to them. Participants report that they enjoy the opportunity this format provides building arguments with each other in a framework that encourages careful considered responses to important ethical issues. They like the fact that they can agree with other teams and that it is very different to a debate. Tertiary trained judges work with the teams on the day to assist them in the process of coming to the best possible answers.

Senior High School Olympiads (15-18 years old) are held in May each year and Middle School Ethics Olympiads (12-14 years old) are conducted in November and Junior School Ethics Olympiads (9-12 years old) are held in June and Sept. In 2023 the Australian Association of Practical and Applied Ethics will host the AAPAE Tertiary Ethics Olympiad (for university students) in October.

Schools/Universities are invited to register, either one or two teams of five eth-letes to participate. The registration fee ranges from $47-$49 (AUD) per eth-lete with each team registration costing $239-245 AUD. The entrance fee is smaller for member schools and there is also a reduced rate for early bird bookings. Once registered you will receive an information training kit for students and coaches via email. Each school also receives six ethical cases (Junior Students or Tertiary)-or eight ethical cases (Middle School & Senior High School students)

As of 2020 we moved the event online. Prior to that schools participated face to face at host schools/venues. One important advantage of this online format is that regional and remote schools can easily participate. Also, schools/universities can engage with others from around the world. eg. A tertiary based philosopher in India or Tasmania can be dealing with a heat involving two schools, one from Victoria and the other in New Zealand.

On the day of the Ethics Olympiad teams are involved in a series of three/four heats where they are scored according to set criteria which rewards, clear, concise, respectful discourse in response to questions about the ethical cases. Judges award points on the basis of clear, concise, critical and collaborative thinking.

The top teams are awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals. We also conduct annual international finals involving the top teams from each regional event for Middle schools (February each year) and Senior schools. (July each year).

We are currently taking registrations for regional events in 2024. We are also offering Training Clinics for Senior, Middle and Junior teams. Use the toolbar to register a team or teams but please note some events are already fully subscribed.

Finally, consider joining your school as a member school. This will provide everyone at your school with members benefits including reduced registration rates and a myriad of teacher resources for teaching ethics to all year levels. Click here for a list of current Member schools.