Exploring Worldview Perspectives with 8th Grade Students : Criteria-Mapping as a Method of Value Disclosure and Worldview Discovery

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education and Human Services


Educational Foundations

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

David Kennedy

Committee Member

Ann Margaret Sharp

Committee Member

Jacqueline Mosselson


This is a study in the practice and theory of pedagogical relationships and the philosophy of ultimate human concern. As a practice, the research involved in this study incorporates a pedagogy that highlights the classroom community of inquiry, an approach to education that has been developed and emphasized in the methodology of Philosophy for Children. Students were engaged in worldview discovery and criteria-mapping as they searched for increasingly comprehensive answers to questions that were intended to uncover a warranted basis for particular assertions of belief and value. Criteria-mapping, as a questioning strategy that emphasizes reasons as criteria, is intended to uncover the preliminary and ultimate reasons that justify belief and assertions about human value in a way that approaches the status of a worldview as Weltanschauung. The theoretical aspect of this study focuses on worldview as how one sees and interprets the meaning of human experience, in a way that differentiates a “worldview” from a “view of the world.” A view of the world is seen as one's Lebenswelt. It includes all those factors that affect personal perspective, emphasizing that for which the individual has no conscious responsibility, such as one's biological and cultural heritage and the overall historical situation in which one is brought up and comes to consciousness. However, a dimension of human experience in this lifeworld is the rational capacity for wonder about ultimate issues and for interpreting the meaning and implications of human being, in a way that is not entirely limited to or constrained by the lifeworld. It is the position of this study that “worldview” suggests a dynamic relationship between the status of those beliefs and values that are a part of the taken-for-granted and inherited answers to questions of ultimate human concern, and the related but contrasting status of those beliefs and values for which a reflective and warranted basis has been worked out. Worldview discovery encourages students to develop the kinds of relational and communicative dispositions, and self-other understandings, that are crucial to a fulfilled and meaningful life.


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