what should be taught?


My overall aim of education- The aim of education is to seek to understand, care for (Noddings 1992), and improve ourselves, others and the natural world.

‘There is only one subject matter for education, and that is life in all of its manifestations.’


Alfred North Whitehead,

The Aims of Education


Self-exploration, Self-reflection, Self-knowledge, Self-introspection, Self-actualization, Pursuit of Self-Understanding

World Outside of the Self- Specific topics, areas of study, knowledge, so....What knowledge should that be since we can't learn "the whole world"??

Essential Questions- Philosophy

Ways of Knowing- Logic, Creative Thinking,
Praxis- Acting on Discoveries

What Domains of

Subject Matter?

 Six Domains

  • the self

  • other human beings

  • the world  

  •  essential questions

  • ways of knowing

  •  praxis

I would include all five of these as content, but the second one addresses exact knowledge.  All five would have explicit courses about them, but most importantly, all five will be present in every course.  The absence of one of these would impede, if not prevent, the aims of education.

What in the world is the "world"?

To a large degree, "the world is the subject matter of the traditional disciplihnes. The problem with the traditional disciplines among other things, is that it isn't comprehensive. It leaves out large portions of reality, of our perceived world and the objective world. Accordingly, emphasis is unduly misplaced into certain areas of reality, and other areas are neglected. They are often neglected to the detriment of our ability to solve human problems, to see ourselves with perspective, and to experience knowledge in relation toother knowledge ie. connectedness, causation, effects, interdependence, root causes, and other critical relationshups. John Dewey pointed out that the traditional disciplines are indeed a social construct, created out of human experience, so to slice up or tamper wth the traditional subjects just for the sake of change would be iirresponsible and unproductive.   For now, I will begin with merley listing generally what I think should be studied. I will explore the reasoning later, in depth, or right away if anyone asks a question about the list. 

Here it is..

The World 

Human Studies










Religious Studies

Domestic studies

Cultural studies

Peace Studies

Human Relationships- individual, group



Natural Studies


The following (the core domains) would be integrated into each course but also have coursework unto themselves:

Personal Studies

Ways of Knowing

Essential Questions



-The courses nor the domains wouldn't necessarily be called by these names, but I'm staying true to the language I've formed over time to induce what I think should be taught for the sake of clarity throughout my world.

- I did not break down Natural Studies for a number of reasons that I'll get into later, but I will say that I found that there is an imbalance of too much science in relation to the soft sciences, social sciences, humanities, the domestic, and the arts. Second, the way we have broken down the student of the natural world has excluded a world view wherein we see the natural world as part of and connected to humanity, a part of reality that deserves to be cared for, not merely dissected and analyzed, used and exploited, or named and described. I would want to break down Natural Studies in a way that preserves these things. 

-Math is absent as a core domain, but it doesn't mean the use of mathematics isn't integral to educational pursuits. It just doesn't emerge as a foundational field of study on which other knowledge is build or beside which other knowledge is aligned. 

-Just a reminder that this page only addresses content, the curriculum- not pedagogy, not process, not learning environment, not teacher or student role, not assessment, not structure- only what is taught. 


  • Extreme reduction in science and math

  • Extreme increase in human studies, ways of knowing, philosophy, action, domestic skills including auto mechanics, cooking, construction, sewing, etc.

  • Increase in cultural diversity and oppression

  • Approach Nature Studies in the context of care, action, human context, holistic, domestic

  • Philosophy and Ways of Knowing as central to all education

  • Self-discovery as equal to discovery about the world- dualistic

  • Praxis /Action attached to all things that are studied

  • Ensure all content explored within the context of esssential questions

  • Ensure all content explored within the context of self-introspection

  • Ensure thorough education in modern issues of ultimate concern, problems in world, society,  community 

  • Ensure thorough education in social injustice, oppression, individual and institutional racism, prejudice, discrimination

  • Ensure thorough education in multiple perspectives, biases

  • Ensure balance between non-Western, indigenous, and Western cultures, perspectives, and history; balance between male and female perspectives; balance of gender and sexual orientations

  • Ensure thorough education in citizenship, activism, advocacy, participation, civil disobedience

  • Importance of studying Empathy, Human Rights, Democracy

  • Ideas of Truth, Freedom, Equality, Justice, Beauty, Love, Peace

  • Ensure balance of domestic sphere, economic, sphere, political sphere

  • Healthy Relationships- friendships, family, organizations, international relations

  • Head Hand Heart- the Self

  • Storytelling, narrative way of seeing the world (not just linear, chronological); archetypal symbols and universal consciousness; self- actualization; finding bliss, purpose