On Tuesday, April 30, seven Princeton Academy Middle School students traveled to Summit to participate in the first NJ Middle School Ethics Bowl hosted by The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School.
Modeled after the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl and the National High School Ethics Bowl (Regional and National Competitions), the NJ Middle School Ethics Bowl involves teams of students from grades 5 through 8 analyzing a series of wide-ranging ethical dilemmas.
Twelve teams from eight schools from across New Jersey participated in the inaugural bowl: All Saints Episcopal Day School, Hoboken; Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood; Far Brook School, Short Hills; Gill St. Bernard's School, Gladstone; The Hudson School, Hoboken; Kent Place School, Summit; Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, Princeton; and The Willow School, Gladstone.
An Ethics Bowl is not a debate between the teams, instead, it's a collaborative event during which students discuss their understanding of the ethical issues presented in each case presented. They defend whichever position they think is correct, provide each other with constructive criticism, and win by demonstrating that they have thought rigorously and systematically about the cases and engaged respectfully and supportively with all participants.
The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School shared that "data from National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB) surveys show that this event teaches and promotes ethical awareness, critical thinking, civil discourse, civic engagement, and an appreciation for multiple points of view."
Princeton Academy's team of seven participated in two rounds of competition consisting of two matches each. During the matches, they thoughtfully discussed four different case studies: Ban Box, Oh, Snap!, Paying a Ransom to Save Your Family, and Red Cross and the Taliban. All of the case studies were created by the NHSEB and can be read here.
Director of Secondary School Placement Taylor Kenyon and MS Social Studies Teacher Denise Quenault shared, "It was an honor and a blessing to work with the Ethics Bowl Team in preparation for the NJ Middle School Ethics Bowl over the past few months. Over time, we learned how to grapple with some very difficult ethical dilemmas and we learned the value of considering the viewpoints and opinions of others."
Mr. Kenyon continued, "I am so proud of both the way our team represented Princeton Academy in our conversations at the Ethics Bowl and of the fact that we were one of only eight schools to participate in the inaugural NJ Middle School Ethics Bowl. The energy at Kent Place was palpable and this event is sure to grow in numbers in the years to come. I am very excited for next year!"
Ms. Quenault and Mr. Kenyon served as faculty advisors for our team and Director of Technology Raymond Shay traveled with the team to serve as a judge for the event. Congratulations to our gentlemen scholars and thank you to all who participated!
Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart is an all-boys K-8 independent school. Creative. Compassionate. Courageous. We bring out the best in boys.