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Ontario Ethics Bowl

CIS Ontario is excited to share a new opportunity from the University of Toronto with our member schools, specifically for students in Grades 9, 10 and 11 — the Junior Ontario Ethics Bowl. Thanks to the work of Jamie Topp, University of Toronto Schools (UTS) and Jeffrey Senese, University of Toronto, independent schools are invited to participate for the first time.

The 2021 Junior Ethics Bowl takes place Saturday, June 5th from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

During an ethics bowl, teams of high school students discuss ethical dilemmas taking place at the forefront of world politics. Such dilemmas might include: how we ought to deal with assisted-death, sexting, and gene editing. What makes an ethics bowl different from a debate is that students are encouraged to amend their original position when faced with counter-evidence, and to view the case as the target of opposition, not the other team. This format allows students to explore difficult ideas in a collaborative atmosphere which is conducive to truth-seeking, collegiality, and open-mindedness


  • American in origin, the Ethics Bowl has finally made its way to Canada, and is certainly taking the country by storm.
  • Different than a debate: the focus of opposition is the case at hand, not the other team; because of this, students can concede a point to, or agree with, the other team. 
  • An ethics bowl creates a more collaborative rather than strictly competitive environment. Students enjoy being able to think through difficult ethical dilemmas without worrying about whether they are sufficiently 'attacking' the other team.
  • The Junior Ontario Bowl which will be held this June is preparation for next year's BIG BOWL. Participants will also gain valuable practice that will prepare them for national-level competition next year.
  • Student participants may have opportunities to meet university professors from various fields including, academia, law, and medicine.
  • One-on-one training sessions with the Director of the Ontario Ethics Bowl (Jeffrey Senese of the University of Toronto) are available upon request.

Jeffrey's contact details are:

Jeffrey Senese 
Recruitment & Communications Officer 
Department of Philosophy  
Maanjiwe Nendamowinan, Room 5165
Outreach Mobile: (416) 414-2799 


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