502 Syllabus

Gaarder, J. (1991). Sophie’s World. New York: Berkley Books.

Lewis, C.S. (1947). Abolition of Man. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Palmer, P. J. (1998). The Courage to Teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


UNIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT: Lee University seeks to provide education that integrates biblical truth as revealed in the Holy Scriptures with truth discovered through the study of the arts and sciences and in the practice of various professions. A personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord our Savior is the controlling perspective from which the educational enterprise is carried out. The foundational purpose of all educational programs is to develop within the students’ knowledge, appreciation, understanding, ability and skills which will prepare them for responsible living in the modern world.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: This course reviews philosophical foundations of education with an emphasis on synthesizing and refining a personal philosophy of education, which encompasses vocation, calling, and the act of teaching.



This course is designed to help the student develop the skills to analyze and reflect on educational theory and practice. There is a body of knowledge covering the history and schools of philosophy which serve as a foundation for reflective thinking.


A. General Instructional Objectives

This course seeks to:

1. Give students a brief history of Western Thought.
2. Introduce students to the terms and concepts of various schools of philosophy including idealism, naturalism, pragmatism, essentialism, fatalism, constructivism, behaviorism, existentialism, Marxism, post-modernism, etc…
3. Relate philosophies and educational theories to current educational practices.
4. Examine the foundations of a Christian Worldview and the effect of such a view on educational thought.
5. Introduce metaphysics and epistemologies.
6. Encourage students to examine their teaching practices in light of philosophical thought and educational theories.
7. Present a clear idea of what it means to be a professional educator.

B. Specific Behavioral Objectives

As a result of the activities and study in this course, the student should be able to do the following:

1. Identify the major tenets of the philosophical schools of idealism, naturalism, pragmatism, essentialism, fatalism, constructivism, behaviorism, existentialism, Marxism, post-modernism, etc…

2. Explain how the epistemological principles of the philosophical schools occur and influence educational ideas and practices.

3. Examine his/her own teaching in light of these philosophical ideas.

4. Evaluate current trends and practices to determine educational merits as well as philosophical implications.

5. Articulate a Christian philosophy/worldview and relate it to the profession of teaching.

6. Look at teaching as an exciting, creative enterprise.


A. Schools of Philosophy

B. Ethical Principles in Teaching

C. Current Trends in Education and their philosophical roots

D. Tools of Analysis and Evaluation of Educational practices

E. History of thought

F. History of ideas

G. Absolutes and relativism

H. Metaphysics

I.  Episitmology

J.  Axiology


A. Limited lecture

B. Small group research and presentation

C. Class discussions

D. Seminars


A. Come to class-A Must!

B. Read all the required books, watch required movies, and participate in classroom discussions.

C. Participate in a small group presentation and in a classroom simulation.

D. Write three papers on topics agreed upon in class. Papers must be an argumentative essay.


For this course, evaluation will be decided between the instructor and the student during an exit interview. There will be 3 papers (argumentative essays) that will be required throughout the semester.


Lee University is committed to the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, as defined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974. If you think you may qualify for these accommodations, notify your instructor immediately.


Movie List

A. Shadowlands

B. Sophie’s World

C. The Truman Show

D. Bruce Almighty

E. The Mission

F. The Matrix (I, II, and III)

G. Contact

H. The Name of the Rose

I. Chariots of Fire


Barzun, J. (2000). From Dawn to Decadence. New York: Harper Collins.

Cahill, T. (1995). How the Irish Saved Civilization. New York: Doubleday.

Cahill, T. (1998). The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Deset Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels. New York: Doubleday.

Cahill, T. (1999). Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus. New York: Doubleday.

Cahill, T. (2003). Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea. New York: Doubleday.

Dewey, J. (1897) My Pedagogical Creed. Washington, DC: E. L. Kellogg and Co.

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Gay, P. (1964). John Locke on Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Holmes, A. Ed. (1984) The Making of a Christian Mind: A Christian World View & the Academic Enterprise. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press.

Jowett, B. (1989). Plato’s Republic, Book VII. New York: Anchor Books.

Lewis, C.S. (1952). Mere Christianity. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Miller, D. (2003). Blue Like Jazz. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Noll, M.A. (1994). The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Palmer, P.J. (2000). Let your Life Speak. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Palmer, P.J. (1990). The Active Life. San Francisco: Jossey –Bass.

Penguin Books (1954). Plato: The Last Days of Socrates. New York: Penguin Group.

Penguin Books (1962). Aristotle: The Politics. New York: Penguin Group.

Pirsig, R.M. (1974). Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. New York: Bantam Books.

Plantinga A. & Wolterstorff N. (Eds.) (1983). Faith and Rationality: Reason and Belief in God. Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.

Rousseau, J.J. (1997). The Emile of Jean Jacques Rousseau. London: Everyman.

Sabine, G.H. and Smith, B.S. (1976). Ciceo: On the Commonwealth. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Skinner, B.F. (1971). Beyond Freedom and Dignity. New York: Bantam.

Tarnas, R. (1991). The Passion of the Western Mind. New York: Bantam.

Wolfe, A. (2003). The Transformation of American Religion. New York: Simon and Schuster.