GRADE 8 / YEAR 9 MORAL EDUCATION COURSE SYLLABUS 2020-2021

Course Outline

Overview

The Moral Education Program (MEP) covers four pillars of teaching and learning: character and morality; the individual and the community; civic studies; and cultural studies. The program blends academic content with an exploration of character and ethics.

The Moral Education Syllabus at GEMS Wesgreen International School aims to instill a set of universal values in students, which enables them to interact and work with people from different social and cultural groups. We seek to empower them to inspire to be responsible and active citizens. We provide them with opportunities to develop opinions and discuss differing opinions with colleagues.

Learning Outcomes

The Moral Education Course will be experienced by students as they work their way through four key pillars of learning as they progress through the course. Each of the four pillars is constructed around a series of Learning Outcomes.

Character and Morality (CM)

Teaching universal ethical values, such as fairness, caring, honesty, resilience, tolerance and respect.

The Individual and Community (IC)

The development of moral thinking for individuals as active members of their families, social environment and communities at large.

Civic Studies (CIS)

Concentrating on Emirati history, trade, travel, governance, as well as global citizenship.

Cultural Studies (CUS)

Focusing on local Emirati heritage, archaeology, and the importance of preserving culture.

Remote Learning

Throughout this year we are using multiple teaching methods in order to help our students learn more effectively. All students whether face to face or learning remotely, will have the opportunity access all the lessons and resources. Students will use Phoenix classroom to access the lesson and course materials. Students will complete an online behaviour assessment at the start and end of each term to show progress and changes within themselves.

Unit Overviews

Term 1

Unit 1a- Character and Morality (CM15): Morality in the context of communities

Approximate length: 6 weeks

Unit Description

In cycle 2, students will have previously considered the duties and responsibilities they have in their families, their classes and the local community. This unit expands the circle of ethical concern to the wider UAE society.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain in their own words what a community is and why being a member of at least one community or social group is important to most people.
  2. Name the main types of communities and social groups in UAE.
  3. Give an account of (at least) one community or social group to which they, as individuals, belong and specify some of the shared values and duties of the participants in that community or group.
  4. Explain the meaning of social cohesion and indicate why it might be an important value for the communities and groups that the students belong to.
  5. Discuss with other students why it might be valuable to promote social cohesion both in the groups to which the students belong and more generally in the wider society of the UAE.

Unit 1b- Individual and Community (IC15): Valuing diversity

Approximate length: 6 weeks

Unit Description

The unit has been divided into the two specific areas of self-worth and identity and community awareness; this continues the same theme as the cycle 1 and other cycle 2 units. Progression focuses on students’ development of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. The topic of valuing diversity builds on the cycle 1 topics of respecting and understanding difference, friendships and helping others (IC2 and IC3) and tolerance, respect, compassion, equality and empathy introduced in the Character and morality units (CM3, CM5 and CM7). It aims to develop students’ respect, tolerance and acceptance of other cultural and social groups and individuals who are in some way different from them, as well as helping students to be honest about their own prejudices.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to do the following by the end of this unit:

  1. Evaluate their understanding of diversity and equality within their community and across the UAE and the challenges that emerge (including how the media handle issues), and articulate what equality means in practice and the benefits that diversity can bring to communities
  2. Have an appreciation of personal tolerance, and an understanding of the causes and issues surrounding intolerance, discrimination and prejudice
  3. Recognise that they too may have individual prejudices which can be explored and overcome
  4. Explain (at a basic level) about the cycle of bias and discrimination and identify how these attitudes are destructive and how they can be overcome
  5. Demonstrate respect and empathy for, and sensitivity to, individuals who are different or who come from different backgrounds, and explore how they can be included in communities and societies
  6. Talk about examples of how individuals and movements have fought discrimination, prejudice and intolerance and discuss what they have learned from these examples.

Term 2

Unit 2a- Civic Studies CIS4: The growth of consultative governance in the UAE

Unit Description

This unit includes:

The traditions of consensus and consultation that existed within the Bedouin tradition and how these traditions were realised in practice • The past and present relevance of traditional mechanisms for consultation (e.g. the Majlis, Shura) • Consultative governance as reflected in the UAE Constitution and the key goals of the Federation • The development, nature and current function of the Federal National Council and local consultative councils

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Identify the key developments in the growth of consultative government at local and national levels within the UAE
  2. Discuss the ways and the extent to which the UAE’s traditional political heritage based on consensus continues to be part of the modern state
  3. Engage in debate in ways which demonstrate an understanding of and willingness to participate in processes of consultation aimed at achieving consensus

Unit 2b- Civic Studies CIS4: The growth of the consultative governance in the UAE

Unit Description

This unit includes:

The traditions of consensus and consultation that existed within the Bedouin tradition and how these traditions were realised in practice • The past and present relevance of traditional mechanisms for consultation (e.g. the Majlis, Shura) • Consultative governance as reflected in the UAE Constitution and the key goals of the Federation The development, nature and current function of the Federal National Council and local consultative councils

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Identify the key developments in the growth of consultative government at local and national levels within the UAE
  2. Discuss the ways and the extent to which the UAE’s traditional political heritage based on consensus continues to be part of the modern state
  3. Engage in debate in ways which demonstrate an understanding of and willingness to participate in processes of consultation aimed at achieving consensus

Term 3

Unit 3a- Character and Morality CM16: Morality in the context of states

Unit description

Students have recently completed a unit on the growth of consultative governance in the UAE (in Civic studies) and another unit on morality in the context of communities. This unit builds on these earlier units by introducing the concepts of state and government. It communicates to the students that there have been, and are, different forms of government in the world. It also encourages students to begin considering what counts as an ethical form of government, and it requires students to provide a rational and coherent justification for their stance. In doing so, the unit forms a foundation for the first Civic studies unit in cycle 3, in which students develop their understanding of how the UAE is governed, its political and judiciary system and how citizens participate in the system of government.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to do the following by the end of this unit:

Define ‘state’ and ‘government’

  1. Name different, historical forms of government and main forms of government in contemporary states around the world
  2. Put forward a reasonably well-justified argument for the key characteristics of a good government
  3. Discuss the role of government in increasing/decreasing the level of social equality and cohesion in a country such as the UAE
  4. Unit 3b- Individual and the community IC16: Dealing with conflict

Unit description

This unit builds on work already undertaken in IC12 (Mental health) and IC15 (Valuing diversity) while also having links with the Character and morality pillar, namely CM10 (Moral character, virtue ethics) and CM12 (Respect and tolerance in a diverse society).

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to do the following by the end of this unit:

  1. Communicate their thoughts and feelings on the type of internal conflict they find challenging
  2. Understand how to recognise the warning signs of internal conflict within the family and friendship groups
  3. Use a range of strategies to manage conflict within their family and peer groups
  4. Improve their self-esteem and act in an assertive and confident manner when dealing with conflict
  5. Develop a greater understanding of the reasons for global conflict

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