National University

EDA 617

Philosophy for Administrators

Frank Schneemann, MS
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March 5
March 7
March 12
March 14
  Once students have chosen the philosophies that they are going to present, the instructor will address the remaining philosophies.

The ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Noam Chomsky will be added to the course. These thinkers focused on the importance of language and semantics and how words effect behavior and learning. (Wittgenstein is briefly mentioned in your text on page 263)

March 19
March 21
March 26
March 28
March 31
  • Final Presentations
  • Research Paper summaries
Thanks for being a great class!             Good luck in your future as administrators!



 REQUIRED TEXT: Rorty, Amelie Oksenberg, Editor.  PHILOSOPHERS ON EDUCATION new

historical perspective.  Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York, 1998.

SUPPLEMENTAL TEXTS:  Refer to the attached Bibliography.  The supplemental texts are all available from the National University Library.   

COURSE DESCRIPTION – This course is an overview of educational philosophies and theories as they relate to instructional leadership, effective schools and the curriculum.  The course surveys the history of public education in the United States, the organizational structure of public schools and current issues and trends in public education.  This course is designed for Masters level students to acquire knowledge of educational philosophy, both ancient and modern and to apply those philosophies to current educational issues, trends and practices.  Unlike other Educational Administrative courses, ED 617 is primarily theoretical in nature, intended to challenge, stimulate and clarify your thinking about educational issues, trends and practices.  It will, however, have a practical side as you apply your thinking to real school related issues and trends. 

This is a graduate level course and will be conducted in a seminar fashion. Students are expected to discuss and interact on the topics under study.

COURSE GOALS:  Students will examine and understand the following:

  1. Important and influential philosophies of education.
  2. The history and development of philosophies of education.
  3. How philosophies of education can be applied to schools and used by school leaders.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES:  Students will:

  1. Understand conflicting philosophies of education in order to clarify their own philosophy.
  2. Summarize the principles and attributes of an assigned philosophy.
  3. Summarize the teachings of the proponents of their assigned philosophy.
  4. In collaboration with classmates, identify the most critical issues and trends facing education today create a future school curriculum (teams).
  5. Identify the educational philosophy of a school or district leader.
  6. Develop a philosophy of education based on a broad knowledge and personal belief system.
  7. Identify educational issues and trends they believe most critical.
  8. Familiarize themselves with educational philosophies dating from the earliest civilizations to today.
  9. Familiarize themselves with educational philosophies from Western and Eastern Cultures.
  10. Utilize the educational philosophies studied as the basis for practical planning in an educational environment (Action Plan Development – Create a future school curriculum).


Grading Policies:  Evaluation of student performance will follow National University’s A – F

  standards as set forth in the current National University Catalog.

General Criteria for Written Work: 

  • Identify and clarify the central issue related to the topic

  • Review pertinent research and information

  • Propose solutions or present positions related to the topic

  • When taking a position on a topic, explain your position

  • Research Paper format: APA

  • Typed double-spaced – Abstract

  • Cover or Title Page

  • Table of Contents

  • Text – which includes

    (1) an introduction;

    (2) body (including tables, graphs, illustrations)

    (3) conclusion;

    (4) references;

    (5) questions and notes from interview.

The body of the paper shall be no shorter than five pages and no longer than ten pages.

NOTE:  All research papers are expected to conform to standard APA form. Use writing center as necessary.

Assignments:  It is the responsibility of the student to complete the components below for a grade.

Participation:   Attendance is mandatory.  More than one absence will result in a less than an "A" grade

There will be class / group discussions during each class session.  These will be based on the readings, and ideas presented in class.

Philosophy Presentation: 

  • Students will work in groups of two or alone if desired

  • You will choose two of the philosophies from the text,  or you may choose a different philosophy (with Instructors approval)

  • Students will create a presentation for each of the philosophies chosen that incorporates the criteria below.

  • Criteria for presentations:

    • Summarize the history of the philosophy

    • Explain the major ideas of the philosophy

    • Explain how the philosophy addresses education issues

      • Explain positive and negative effects on education

    • You may modify the criteria with instructor approval

  • You may choose any media to present your philosophy with instructor approval

    • Examples: web page, Face Book, Word document, Power Point, Windows or Mac video, Windows Movie Maker, Photo Story, Camtasia Studio, others

  • Presentations need to be ready for the third and fourth week of the course so they can be viewed and evaluated by the other students in the course

  • It is preferred that you work with the instructor to put your presentations online so they can be shared with everyone.

    • If you desire NOT to have your presentation online we will respect your wishes.

Research paper (5 to 10 pages APA).

  • Which philosophy or philosophies most closely mirror your personal philosophy about education. How will the philosophy that you believe in help you to deal with the issues and problems in education, once you become an administrator.

  • Create an outline for your paper and discuss it with the instructor before finalization.

  • Your paper needs to be ready for the final day of class

  • You will need to make a short five or ten minute summary of your paper to the entire class

NOTES:  Futuristic school ideas with defined philosophies.