What is a High School Ethics Bowl?

An ethics bowl is a competitive yet collaborative event in which students analyze and discuss timely and timeless ethical issues. An ethics bowl differs from debate in that students are not assigned opposing views; rather, they defend whatever position they believe is right and win by showing that they have thought more carefully, deeply, and perceptively about the cases in question. Experience shows that the event encourages and promotes ethical awareness, critical thinking skills, civil discourse, civic engagement, and an appreciation for diverse points of view.

Over 49 regional High School Ethics Bowls take place across the US. Winning teams are invited to participate in the National High School Ethics Bowl Finals, held in April at the Parr Center for Ethics – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. For general information about high school Ethics Bowl as well as information about regional and the national events, archived cases, and the Case Writing Competition, visit: http://nhseb.unc.edu

The National High School Ethics Bowl was founded in 2012 through a partnership between the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Squire Family Foundation (www.squirefoundation.org). It was adapted for high school use from the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB) with permission from the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

Mid 2016 the Squire Foundation chose a slightly different approach to the High School Ethics Bowl creating our own set of standards and our own automated online scoring tool. We currently have two regional bowls: the Long Island High School Ethics Bowl and the New York City High School Ethics Bowl.

Here is a quick diagram of how an ethics bowl round is structured: