The Effects of Major Philosophical Thinking On Educational Curriculum
And Student Growth

by Harvey Scribner

Created for a training program for the School District of Philadelphia

Created in partial completion of a Certificate of Curriculum & Instruction
(Gwynedd Mercy University, EDU 591, Spring 2015)

How To Use This Site

This is a training site created specifically as an assignment for a graduate-level course at Gwynedd Mercy University.  It is a real training source, and should be used in conjuction with a professional series or development program.  All references are provided at the bottom of the page.  This training site refers to many videos and has some steps that might require personal reflection on curriculum, and reference to policy and procedure for your own school district and administration.  This site is for educational purposes only and has no commercial value or interest.

Questions and Comments are welcome at and at any time!

Explanation of Major School of Philosophy

“It is easier to change the location of a cemetery, than to change the school curriculum"   - Woodrow T. Wilson

Prior to arrival at the training, everyone must review the definition of the six major schools of curriculum philosophy below:

The six major schools of philosophy that will be referenced here are the following:

You can view the Webster's Dictionary definition of each term by simply clicking it.  After reviewing the definitions, please review the video explanations of each term.  This will give you some insight to the history behind the term and the basis for our discussion of it's influence on modern curriculum.



Project #1:  Summarize Your Information

Using the Google Form (Click Here), please summarize your learning about the information above.  We will all look at the results and share out answers and points of view in a few minutes.

Impromptu Poll:  Which Philosophy Has The Most Impact On The Curriculum At The School District of Philadelphia

Use the following link Poll Everywhere (Click Here) and respond to the prompt.  If you would prefer, there are instructions below to post your response to the survey by phone or Twitter.  All responses are ANONYMOUS!

Text: MRSCRIBNER926 to 37607 once to join
Twittrer: Tweet responses to @CAA_TechGuy


Briefly discuss, in your learning teams, what the results of the survey mean to you as an educator and why you agree or disagree with them.  Share Out With The Class.

Project 2: Review an example from
The School District Of Philadelphia Philosophy:

Here is the link to Section 102 of the School District of Philadelphia that outlines the Philosophy of Education for Multiracial-Multicultural-Gender Education (as a specific sample).  Other examples could be used if necessary to tailor this training to other districts or schools (Click Here for online reference)

Philosophy  for Multiracial-Multicultural-Gender Education in Philadelphia SD:
A. The School District of Philadelphia envisions a society that will ensure respect for all cultures, dignity for all communities and justice for all people.

B. The School District of Philadelphia expresses its commitment to achieving this goal by recognizing that Multiracial-Multicultural-Gender Education is indispensable in attaining this objective.

C. To move us toward this goal, the School District is committed to:
1.  Persue academic excellence for all children.
2. Assist students to develop the necessary social and linguistic skills needed to communicate effecmultilingual, global society.
3. Teach students to respect their own cultural heritages and to appreciate other peoples from their neighborhood, city, state, nation and the world.
4.Enable students to develop a deep multicultural understanding that reflects sensitivity toward all.
5. Foster opportunities for students, staff, decision-making and problem solving and to develop a deep multicultural understanding that reflects sensitivity to the diversity present in a multicultural society.
6. Empower students to recognize and work to overcome injustices caused by bias and historical exclusion and to become active citizens and leaders in the quest for a just society.

D. In seeking to ensure educational equity and justice for all, Multiracial-Multicultural-Gender Education will be infused throughout all aspects of the educational process and will:
1. Integrate multiple perspectives in all curricular areas.
2. Utilize the variety of skills and knowledge that students and adults from diverse backgrounds bring to teaching and learning.
3.Incorporate learning activities to foster knowledge of, acceptance of, and respect for the diverse cultures and histories that make up the fabric of our school.
4. Foster among children the development of interpersonal and intergroup skills that will prepare them to live harmoniously in a multiethnic/multicultural/multilingual society.
5. Facilitate practices necessary to assist all children to become effective and successful learners regardless of race, ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation (perceived or known) and gender identity or identities (perceived or known).
6. Ensure that staff throughout the District receive appropriate, ongoing opportunities for training and staff development in multicultural understanding.
7. Ensure that commitment to Multiracial-Multicultural-Gender Education is reflected in the diversity of all levels of staffing in the School District of Philadelphia .
8. Respect and value parental and community input and participation in the educational process.
9. Extend training to parents and community members
10. Implicit in this statement is the requirement that each staff member accept responsibility for the accomplishment of these goals.

Effects Of Philosophy on Curriculum & Student Growth

In this activity you will use the Google Slides Presentation (Click Here) to collaborate with your learning teams.  You will review the following documents (SEE LINKS BELOW) based on each team's Major Philosophy.  You may use additional sources, but they must be listed in your final slides as references. Once you are done, come to a consensus as a group about how your philosophy affects both your school's curriculum development and your student's growth.  We will share the presentation at the end of the training session.

"Naturalism in Education"

"Idealism in Education"

"Realism in Education"

"Pragmatism in Education"

"Existentialism in Education"

"Scholasicism in Education"

Instructions for collaboration on Google Slides:

  1. Make sure to create new slides for your information.
  2. Make sure not to be typing on slides made by other groups at the same time.
  3. The instructor will review all slides and put them in a logical order. You only need to create the slides and work on them together.
  4. Collaboration is the key to this learning project. Each attendee should respect the views and efforts of their teammates. You do not need to agree, but in the case of a conflict, put more than one slide that outlines differing views. Remember, we are all professionals here.

Consider how aspects of these philosophies can work together to help us design effective curriculum that improves student learning and outcomes.

Final Thoughts And Reflection

Please review the video (Click Here) and describe in a post to our Instructional Document how this presentation is tied to our discussion today!

Thanks for your attendance, cooperation, energy and collaboration during this program!

You may use the RSVP form below to send an email to your instructor, or use the comment form below to add your feedback as necessary.