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Ethics and Religious Culture

Competency 1 - Reflects on ethical questions

At the secondary level, students learn to reflect on ethical questions using situations involving values or norms and that present a problem to be solved or a subject for reflection.

The following table further describes the knowledge to be acquired for each compulsory theme in the ethics component. Students acquire this knowledge in order to analyze a situation from an ethical point of view, to examine a variety of cultural, moral, religious, scientific or social references, and to evaluate various options or possible actions. This knowledge is dealt with in learning and evaluation situations that involve increasingly complex tasks. These situations are taken from specific cases, literature or current affairs, and they involve the practice of dialogue.

Knowledge related to ethics themes

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.

 

Student reinvests knowledge.

This learning is suggested; it is not prescribed in the program.

E
: The letter E indicates that some of the concepts related to this learning were covered in elementary school.

Elementary

Secondary
Cycle
One
Cycle
Two
  1. Freedom 1
  1 2 4 5
  1. Gives different definitions of freedom (e.g. situation of a person who is not dependent on anyone or anything; ability to act without constraints)
     
  1. Describes different types of freedom (e.g. freedom to act [ability to act as one wishes]; freedom of expression [ability to express oneself without fear of reprisal]; freedom of association [ability to join others with a shared objective])
     
  1. Gives the motives behind individual or group choices in the exercise of freedom (e.g. desires, needs, convictions, values, age, education, norms and physical or social constraints)
     
  1. Explains what motivates a person’s choices (e.g. a young person gets up early to train because he/she wants to do well in a sport; a group organizes a neighbourhood composting system because it believes that small actions will ensure the future of the planet)
     
  1. Makes connections between the exercise of freedom in private and in public (e.g. one expresses love for one’s sweetheart differently in private and in public; e-mailing a personal photo to a friend does not authorize him/her to publish it on a social network)
     
  1. Uses examples to show how responsibilities, rights and duties limit the exercise of freedom (e.g. the freedom to express an opinion in a student newspaper does not relieve the authors of the obligation to avoid damaging another person’s reputation)
     
  1. Formulates ethical questions about freedom (e.g. How does freedom imply limits?)
E    
  1. Names references that support and enrich ethical reflection on freedom (e.g. charters, laws, regulations, individuals, media)
E    
  1. Makes connections between ethical reflection on freedom and ethical reflection on autonomy or the social order
     
  1. Makes connections between freedom and the pursuit of the common good
     
  1. Makes connections between freedom and the recognition of others
     
  1. Autonomy2
  1 2 4 5
  1. Gives different definitions of autonomy (e.g. ability to live without anyone’s help; right to self-government)
     
  1. Gives examples of signs of autonomy in individuals or groups (e.g. a visually impaired person goes out alone with a guide dog; team members organize their own practice when their coach is absent)
     
  1. Gives different definitions of the word dependence (e.g. the inability to develop one’s potential without someone else’s help; the state of a person who cannot carry out daily tasks alone)
     
  1. Gives examples of signs of dependence in individuals or groups (e.g. a person who cannot stop playing online games; modern society cannot function without electricity)
     
  1. Names conditions that foster autonomy (e.g. critical judgment, good sense, moral responsibility, the ability to choose, authenticity, resourcefulness)
     
  1. Shows how friendship, love, academic success, consumption, thrill-seeking, etc., can lead to autonomy or to dependence (e.g. a young person gains self-confidence through friendships with her peers and decides to look for a summer job; a young person enjoys playing music so much that he cannot stop and neglects his responsibilities)
     
  1. Explains how exercising one’s autonomy can become a source of tension (e.g. after deciding to dress in a certain style, an adolescent may come into conflict with his or her parents)
     
  1. Formulates ethical questions about autonomy (e.g. Is it possible to be entirely autonomous? Why or why not?)
E    
  1. Names references that support and enrich ethical reflection on autonomy (e.g. charters, laws, regulations, individuals, media)
E    
  1. Makes connections between ethical reflection on autonomy and ethical reflection on freedom or the social order
     
  1. Makes connections between autonomy and the pursuit of the common good
     
  1. Makes connections between autonomy and the recognition of others
     
  1. Social order3
  1 2 4 5
  1. Uses examples to show that the social order is based on the values and norms adopted by groups, institutions and organizations (e.g. in many families, the social order is based on the values of love and sharing, as well as on family rules; in a theatre company, the social order is based on the director’s instructions [norms] as well as on the values of rigour and perseverance)
E    
  1. Describes different forms of power in groups, institutions or organizations (e.g. authoritative power [imposition of will]; democratic power [taking into account the majority vote by electing representatives])
     
  1. Describes different forms of obedience (e.g. submission [agreeing to submit without protest]; conformity [adopting the same behaviour as the majority])
     
  1. Describes different forms of disobedience (e.g. crime [serious, voluntary offence against the law]; civil disobedience [passive resistance and refusal to obey a law that is deemed to be unfair])
     
  1. Names factors that could bring about a change in social values and norms (e.g. war, immigration, the media, science)
     
  1. Shows how values can inspire a person or a group to question or uphold the social order and the law (e.g. in the name of justice, a people rises up against the authoritative regime in power; for health reasons, a group of students advocates strict enforcement of the no-smoking legislation)
     
  1. Formulates ethical questions about the social order (e.g. What behaviour should be encouraged or avoided when faced with a law that is considered unfair?)
E    
  1. Names references that support and enrich ethical reflection on the social order (e.g. charters, laws, regulations, individuals, media)
E    
  1. Makes connections between ethical reflection on the social order and ethical reflection on autonomy or freedom
     
  1. Makes connections between the social order and the pursuit of the common good
     
  1. Makes connections between the social order and the recognition of others
     
  1. Tolerance4
  1 2 4 5
  1. Defines terms that can be associated with tolerance (e.g. intolerance, indifference, discrimination, segregation, racism, xenophobia, reasonable accommodation, diversity)
     
  1. Gives examples of current topics that can be sources of tension regarding tolerance (e.g. same-sex marriage, the integration of handicapped persons, requests from religious groups)
     
  1. Based on cases taken from literature or current affairs, describes examples of tolerance, intolerance or indifference:
    • origin of the situation
    • people involved
    • people’s reactions
    • circumstances
    • place
    • issues at stake, etc.
     
  1. Explains different individual or collective responses to cases taken from literature or current events that can be sources of tension regarding tolerance:
    • the actions taken
    • the values involved
    • the laws and regulations to be considered
    • possible consequences, etc.
     
  1. Formulates ethical questions about tolerance (e.g. What is the difference between complacency and tolerance?)
E    
  1. Names references that support and enrich ethical reflection on tolerance (e.g. charters, laws, regulations, individuals, media, UNESCO’s Declaration of Principles on Tolerance)
E    
  1. Makes connections between ethical reflection on tolerance and ethical reflection on the future of humanity, justice or human ambivalence
     
  1. Makes connections between tolerance and the pursuit of the common good
     
  1. Makes connections between tolerance and the recognition of others
     
  1. The future of humanity5
  1 2 4 5
  1. Explains different ways to look at the future of humanity (e.g. Aldous Huxley presents an imaginary vision of the future in a society dominated by science; the reflections of Hubert Reeves and David Suzuki remind us of the importance of protecting the environment to ensure the future of humanity)
     
  1. Explains some current challenges in human relations (e.g. the gap between rich and poor countries, the consequences of overpopulation):
    • issue
    • actors involved
    • statistics
    • scope of the problem
    • tensions, values and norms at issue, etc.
     
  1. Explains some possible actions or options, given the challenges in human relations (e.g. fair trade, economic protectionism):
    • description of the action
    • intention
    • people involved
    • values
    • possible consequences, etc.
     
  1. Explains some current challenges in the relationship between human beings and the environment (e.g. exploitation of natural resources, space exploration, research into genetics and GMOs):
    • issues
    • actors involved
    • statistics
    • scope of the problem
    • tensions, values and norms at stake, etc.
     
  1. Explains some possible actions or options, given the challenges in the relationship between human beings and the environment (e.g. composting or burning organic matter):
    • description of the action
    • intention
    • people involved
    • values
    • possible consequences, etc.
     
  1. Gives examples of how certain references can guide individual or group actions in the face of challenges to the future of humanity (e.g. the value of respect for the environment [reference] inspires certain people to buy local products in order to avoid transportation over long distances)
     
  1. Formulates ethical questions on the future of humanity (e.g. Why should human beings be concerned with the future of humanity?)
E    
  1. Names references that support and enrich ethical reflection on the future of humanity (e.g. charters, laws, regulations, science, individuals, media)
E    
  1. Makes connections between ethical reflection on the future of humanity and ethical reflection on tolerance, justice or human ambivalence
     
  1. Makes connections between the future of humanity and the pursuit of the common good
     
  1. Makes connections between the future of humanity and the recognition of others
     
  1. Justice6
  1 2 4 5
  1. Defines some terms that must be understood in reference to justice (e.g. injustice, right, law, fairness, equality, merit, eugenics, euthanasia)
     
  1. Names different ways of looking at justice (e.g. restorative justice, remedial justice, social justice, universal justice)
     
  1. Gives examples of situations that raise an issue related to justice (e.g. distribution of wealth, euthanasia, working conditions in poor countries)
     
  1. Names principles on which justice is based (e.g. equality, fairness, respect for individuals, merit)
     
  1. Explains how the way we look at justice influences our answers to social or humanitarian questions, or questions about life and death (e.g. someone who sees justice as retaliation [an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth] would probably agree to the use of the death penalty in a case of premeditated murder; someone who sees justice as a duty to share would probably tend to give to charity)
     
  1. Explains, using social or humanitarian questions, or questions about life and death, how justice is seen differently in different societies (e.g. the death penalty exists in certain societies, but not in others; in some countries, it is considered fair for all citizens to have the right to free health care, while elsewhere it is considered fair that everyone pay for their own health care)
     
  1. Formulates ethical questions about justice (e.g. Does justice mean that everyone should be treated the same way? Why?)
E    
  1. Names references that support and enrich ethical reflection on justice (e.g. charters, laws, regulations, individuals, media)
E    
  1. Makes connections between ethical reflection on justice and ethical reflection on tolerance, the future of humanity or human ambivalence
     
  1. Makes connections between justice and the pursuit of the common good
     
  1. Makes connections between justice and the recognition of others
     
  1. Human ambivalence7
  1 2 4 5
  1. Defines terms that can be associated with ambivalence (e.g. ambiguity, coherence, equivocation, conflicting values, duality, morality, amorality, immorality)
     
  1. Names elements that can be difficult to balance and become sources of human ambivalence (e.g. reason and passion; morality, immorality and amorality; truth and lies; good and evil; satisfaction and frustration; pride and modesty; regret and contentment)
     
  1. Describes situations that illustrate human ambivalence in feelings (e.g. an offended person is torn between revenge and forgiveness)
     
  1. Describes situations that illustrate human ambivalence in judgment (e.g. a student feels torn between the advantages and disadvantages of the school’s dress code and hesitates before voting for or against it)
     
  1. Describes situations that illustrate human ambivalence in behaviour (e.g. a driver is aware that he is under the influence of alcohol and hesitates between staying at the scene of the accident and leaving)
     
  1. Describes situations that illustrate ambiguity in human actions (e.g. a country that defends human rights infringes on them to serve its own purposes)
     
  1. Formulates ethical questions on human ambivalence (e.g. Are young people more or less ambivalent than adults? Why?)
E    
  1. Names references that support and enrich ethical reflection (e.g. charters, laws, regulations, individuals, media)
E    
  1. Makes connections between ethical reflection on human ambivalence and ethical reflection on tolerance, the future of humanity or justice
     
  1. Makes connections between human ambivalence and the pursuit of the common good
     
  1. Makes connections between human ambivalence and the recognition of others
     
1.  Ethics and Religious Culture Program, Secondary, p. 37 (497).
2.  Ethics and Religious Culture Program, Secondary, p. 38 (498).
3.  Ethics and Religious Culture Program, Secondary, p. 38 (498).
4.  Ethics and Religious Culture Program, Secondary, p. 39 (499).
5.  Ethics and Religious Culture Program, Secondary, p. 39 (499).
6.  Ethics and Religious Culture Program, Secondary, p. 39 (499).
7.  Ethics and Religious Culture Program, Secondary, p. 40 (500).

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