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Religion & Society Year 10 - Ethics: Global Ethics

Personal ethics - ethics and me, Global ethics, exploring ethics - exploration of ethical concepts and decision making, community/business ethics - the role ethics plays in the business world, medical ethics -issues, Oxford debate.

Principles of Global Ethics

Global ethics are the most controversial of the three categories, and the least understood. Open to wide interpretation as to how or whether they should be applied, these principles can sometimes generate emotional response and heated debate.

Principles of Global Ethics include:

Global justice (as reflected in international laws)
Society before self / social responsibility
Environmental stewardship
Interdependence & responsibility for the ‘whole’
Reverence for place

Each of us influences the world by simply existing; and it is always wise to ‘think globally’. An added measure of accountability is placed on globally influential enterprises such as governments and transnational corporations. (Responsibility comes with power whether we accept it or not.) One of the burdens of leadership is to influence society and world affairs in a positive way. Can a person, nation or company truly be ‘successful’ while causing human suffering or irreparable environmental damage? A more modern and complete model of success also considers impact on humanity and the earth’s ecology.

Group Presentation task and guidelines


What You Need to Do…….

You will need to work in groups of 2-4 on a particular global ethical issue. A suggested list of possible topics appears below. This will be a computer/internet based project which will involve different members of your group researching and presenting different aspects of your topic. All groups will need to do a class presentation of their findings using PowerPoint as well as each individual student submitting their Assessment Sheet to the teacher for final grading. Don’t forget the criteria for what makes an issue “Global” and “Ethical”.

Due Date:  Be ready to do your class presentation by:

Group B (Friday, August 1st, Period 1 class): on Monday, August 25th.

Group A (Tuesday, August 5th, Period 3 class): on Tuesday, August 26th.

Possible Topics


  • Julian Assange is an Australian citizen.      As founder and leader of ‘Wiki      Leaks’ is still hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.. Should he      be seen as an international terrorist, undermining the security of the      western world, or should he be seen as the greatest proponent of      democracy, and the right to free speech?


  • Is global warming really caused by human      activity or natural weather patterns? What should countries like Australia be      doing about it? Comment on the ethical issues here.


  • Some argue that the globalization of the      arms trade now means that some weapons manufacturers have more real power      than governments and that they can create or prolong wars for their own      profits. Explore this situation and comment on the ethical issues related      to it.


  • Figures show that there were 300,000      child soldiers during the 1990’s. An unknown number of children were      kidnapped or tricked into military involvement, as well as child slavery      and prostitution. Explore the ethical aspects of the exploitation of      children as a global issue.


  • How are multi-national companies      unfairly exploiting citizens of third world countries and what should be      done about it if they are?


  • Japan      continues to hunt endangered whales on the grounds of research. Explore      the ethical considerations relating to this issue, including the responses      of organizations like ‘Sea Shepherd’.


  • According to some sources, Australia      currently accepts more refugees per head of population than any other      country, but it’s policy on ‘Boat People” and other illegal immigrants and      their detention has been widely criticised. Explore this issue from a      global perspective and identify the ethical aspects?


  • Should      drug addicts be treated like criminals or people with an illness? How do      different countries deal with this issue?


  • Are the      policies of WADA (the World Anti Doping Agency) an appropriate response to      drugs in sport as we reflect on the current crisis in Australia’s most      popular sporting codes?


  • Different      approaches to the issue of Homosexuality across the world.


- or your group could select a topic yourselves (as long as you check it with your teacher first – see next sheet).


            If you wish to choose another global issue other than those listed, you may do so provided you first present a written proposal paragraph to your teacher explaining what the issue is and why it is a global and ethical issue.                 


Criteria for Assessment


Allocation of Work


Your group as a whole will need to fulfill all of the criteria listed below when doing your final group presentation. Each person within the group however, will only choose one or two aspects to focus on when working with the group in the preparation phase prior to final presentation. This will need to be reported in the Peer and Self Assessment sheet which each student gives to the teacher after filling in the relevant sections, for assessment. This will then be returned to you along with your student copy of the Teacher Assessment sheet containing your group’s grade and your own individual grade with accompanying comments regarding your fulfillment of the assessment criteria.

Some of the items listed on the back of this page are more detailed than others, so you may decide to have two people do part of one aspect each in that case.


You will have two full lessons (and part of the introductory lesson) to prepare presentations.                                                                                                                     

Criteria List


1.   Define the Issue.

      Define the issue clearly by explaining what the problem actually involves


2.    Internet Research

       Use the internet to find and organize appropriately information relating to the issue.


3.   Explain the Relevant Facts.

Present an overall understanding of what the issue is and why it is important by asking and answering the following questions: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why?


4.   Arguments (and People) For and Against

      List the arguments for and against the issue, and the people and groups that present them.


5.   Evaluate the Probable Consequences

Describe what consequences may follow according to whether the “for” or “against” arguments are accepted.  


6.   Demonstrate an Ability to Present a Quality Presentation

Prepare and present a well-designed Keynote (or PowerPoint) or equivalent such as a poster, and explain it effectively to the class. The teacher assessment sheet will guide you as to what needs to be included. You can have several presenters or just one if you wish, but others will need to make their contribution in other ways.

Assessment here will involve consideration of how well the presenters are able to engage the rest of the class. For example:

·         Maintaining eye contact;

·         Use of ‘prompt’ cards (rather than reading from screen);

·         expanded oral presentation – beyond what is in the power Point.

·         Correct pronunciation, rehearsed presentation;  

·         Use of ‘props’, resources to enhance presentation.


Group and Self Assessment: Each member of your group needs to demonstrate that they are fulfilling a particular aspect and doing their share of the work. To achieve this, each person in the group needs to fill in this Student Assessment Sheet and then submit it to your teacher for final assessment.


Name: _________________________________       House: ______


Ethical Issue Chosen:___________________________________________


Your Involvement: Briefly explain how you contributed to the research, preparation and presentation of your global ethical issue:










Other Students in my Group: List each student in your group in the spaces below. Give a brief description of their involvement in the presentation and give them an effort rating in the box                           next to their name, on how much they contributed to the group.

Effort Rating  = 1 (very poor) to 10 (outstanding).          

1_____________________,   _________________________________________________________    2 _____________________,    ________________________________________________________   3_____________________,    ________________________________________________________  4 _____________________,   ________________________________________________________           ____________________________________________________________________________________


Teacher Assessment:   Student Copy   (returned after grading with photocopy kept by teacher)


Global Ethics Assignment  Assessment Task         Group Assessment


Assessment Criteria                           Very High         High         Medium       Low       Very Low     N/S

The group has:

  1. Identified, defined Issue                                                                                                

2. Researched and organized

    internet material appropriately                                                                                          

3. Explained and evaluated the

   Global issue covering the 5W’s                                                                                                                      

4. Evaluate the arguments (and people)

for and against the issue chosen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

5.  Described and evaluated the possible

consequences of the issue chosen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

6.  Demonstrated an ability to provide                 

     a quality presentation.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Overall this group presentation has been graded:

A+        A          B+        B          C+        C          D+        D          E+        E              UG


Overall __________________________ (name of individual student) has been graded:


A+       A         B+       B         C+       C         D+       D         E+       E             UG