Children will be taught the ethics of capitalism, why the banks crashed in 2008 and the morality of taxation in a new teaching resource launched by Christian charities Oasis UK and Christian Aid.
The Exploring Ethical Capitalism course has been designed for GCSE students aged 15 and 16. Oasis UK's academies will be the first to teach the scheme.
It invites teachers and learners to explore capitalism critically, asking questions that will help them determine what it is, how it works and how it influences the world we live in.
The charities say by pointing to recent real-world examples such as the financial crash of 2008, the pack will help students ask questions such as who should take responsibility when the economic system goes wrong.
As well as facilitating discussion on issues that the makers of the course believe will have a profound impact on students’ future, the resource will contribute to the current national curriculum, in subjects such as Business Studies, Maths, Sociology and Religious Education.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has been presented with a copy of the new pack at an ethical capitalism debate on Wednesday night in Oasis Church, Waterloo.
He said: "This is a very old debate. It’s appropriate we’re in a church. Go back 500 years to the reformation. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and others were arguing as we do today about the compatibility of Christian values and commerce in its early stages; that was a large part of what the reformation was about."
He added: "I believe ethical capitalism isn’t an oxymoron. I think we have to have a capitalist system, that is the nature of the beast. It is right that we encourage business, we have to do that to get recovery and jobs but it can and should be done in an ethical way."
Steve Chalke, Oasis founder and pastor of Oasis Church, said recent events such as the Occupy London movement have "raised serious questions about the economic system we live in".
"But ultimately it will be for the next generation to determine the answers," he said. "This educational resource will help students take a critical look at the ethical issues surrounding the debate and help them draw conclusions of their own."
Christian Aid’s Canon Geoff Daintree welcomed the opportunity for students to investigate the ethics of economic models.
"Christians are called not to leave our values at the door. Ethical judgements affect all areas of life including our economic and business decisions. Encouraging children to engage with the moral questions raised by our capitalist system can only be a good thing. Jesus spoke often about issues of justice and poverty and it is important that poor people are not exploited by our pursuit for growth and prosperity."
February 24th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes