Course in Ethics

Course Description: In this 2-hour course participants will learn basic terms of moral literacy and relate them to everyday life. They will be made aware of virtues and ways to develop those virtues in themselves. They will be introduced to ethical decision-making, management of emotions through self control, and how to contribute to a moral society. The main purpose of this course is to motivate participants to want a better life, and show them how to reach toward it.

2 one-hour sessions; Monday 1:15-2:45; Tuesday 8:45-10:00
Visiting Room Area
15 per class

To make participants aware of ethics
To begin preparing them for taking their place in a moral society


1. Participants will become aware of terms such as ethics, morality, virtue, vice and values, and why they are essential to quality of life.

1. Participants will learn how to practice lifeskills that enhance their quality of life by improving their personal character.
2. Participants will learn how to balance virtues such as courage and compassion, using self control.
3. Participants will explore healthy strategies for making alternative choices and decision-making.
4. Participants will learn how to share their ethical knowledge with others within their circle of influence.

1. Participants will have a desire for a better quality of life attained through virtue, morality and ethical behavior.
2. Participants will value character and virtue.

In-take Character Assessment Survey


Yes____ No ____ 1. Are you staying here with us long?

Yes ____ No ____ 2. Do you have any control over what occurs?

3. Pick the category that best describes your circumstances:
____ Abuse ___ Neglect ___ Addiction (yours or someone else’s) ____ Other

4.Are you a victim of:
____ your own bad choice or ____ someone else’s?

Yes ____ No ____ 5. Did you have another choice at the time of your crime
now that you look back?

6. What could it have been? ??????

Yes ___ No ___ 7. Were there many other choices?

Yes ____ No ___ 8. If we could show you more options that you are not aware of,
would you be interested?

Yes _____ No _____ 9.If we could help you avoid committing a crime again, would you be
interested in hearing about it?

Yes ___ No ___ 10. If we could show you a way to feel better and plan your
own destiny, would you be interested?

Yes ___ No ___ 11. If we could give you information that will increase the
quality of your life, proven in the past by others like you, would you listen?

Yes ___ No ___ 12. Are you willing to put the effort in toward a better
quality of life?

Yes ____ No ____ 13. Are you saying you are willing to change, grow and

Questions to ask individually before seminar begins:

Number: ____________

Yes or No only

____ 1. Do you recall taking the survey on C-tier?
____ 2. Are you still interested in change, growth and education?
____ 3. Have you taken this course before?
____ 4. Do you know what “virtue” means?
____ 5. Do you know what “vice” means?
____ 6. Do you know what “ethics” means?

Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable and have a seat and thank you for participating in our program.


Post-test (at the end of the seminar and 2 days after)


1. What is virtue?
2. What is vice?
3. What is ethics?

Moral Character Motivation
1. If you had it to do over, what would you do differently?


Day One:

Introduction: What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word “virtue”? “character”?

1. Serenity Exercise (Grant me the serenity to change the things I can, accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.)
Make two columns on chart paper: things I can not change while here, things I can change.
Show external vs. internal. Internal is character. Some say you cannot change until you have bottomed out. What does that mean? When you were on the outside, you could change your environment and run from the internal. Here you have to examine the internal.

2. “Describe the perfect person” exercise. (see Hand Out)
a. Write descriptors of the perfect person on the inside.
b. Write the opposite on the out side.
c. Read the list out loud to the group. (Check for universals).
d. Explain that these are called “virtues.” Each positive trait is a virtue.
e. Choose the most important one (individually). This is called a “value.”
f. You have more strengths than you are aware of. What virtue are you strong in? What two virtues do you already have? Tell the group.
g. Explain “vice” as the opposite of “virtue”. Lack of balance. Use examples.
Ask, what vice are you weak in? What virtue do you want to replace it with?
h. T-shirt HO
i. Planning exercise: HO
j. Cups with water exercise: Measure with water the amount of a certain virtue you think you have.

3. Explain that there are 3 parts to character:
Head, heart, hands (knowing, feeling, acting/behavior) HO
Serenity exercise and “perfect person” exercise were about knowing. Now we will have a “doing” exercise.
a. Self-control exercise: Stand Still without moving as long as you can.
b. Conclusion: Knowing plus doing leads to feeling.

4. Explain each term carefully:
Virtue (the traits they wrote down)
Value: the virtues you value or choose as most important
Which virtue are you weak in (vice)? (temperance? Judgment? Courage?) You can replace your vice with a virtue.
Morality: to do with right and wrong; conscience: moral compass
Ethics: having internal standards of right and wrong, of virtue and vice

4. Role play “Courage” exercise.


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