Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX philosophy professor involved in bringing ‘ethics bowls’ to Nova Scotia

August 24th, 2021
Professor Lu-Vada Dunford

Professor Lu-Vada Dunford, a new faculty member in the StFX Department of Philosophy, has just completed judging both the 2021 Ontario and Canadian High School Ethics Bowl competitions. She also serves as the director of judge training for the Ontario High School Ethics Bowl and as a director of Ethics Bowl Canada. 

While an intervarsity debating tournament and an ethics bowl may look alike from a distance, Professor Dunford says they couldn’t be more different. The aim of a debate is skilled opposition to defeat an opponent’s arguments, whereas an ethics bowl focuses on developing critical conversations through collaboration and inclusive dialogue to get to the heart of contemporary moral issues, she says. 

Professor Dunford has been involved in ethics bowls since 2018, and she has maintained her involvement since her arrival in Antigonish in the fall of 2020. She says that the need for deeper engagement and reflection on ethical issues of our time motivates her view that ethics bowls are very useful for developing critically informed and ethically aware young Canadians. Ethics bowls are found at the high school, and, very soon, at the university levels.  

Professor Dunford’s interest on ethics bowls reflects her own scholarly work in social and political philosophy and her teaching Critical Thinking, Introductory Philosophy, and Feminism and Philosophy, starting in the fall. An award-winning undergraduate teacher while at the University of Toronto, she was part of the team that brought the very first ethics bowl to Ontario high schools in 2019. She is currently working to have Nova Scotia represented at the provincial and national level and expects to help prepare high schools in the province to compete for the first time in the 2022 Canadian National High School Ethics Bowl. 

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