The notion of a worldview may be familiar to faculty in some disciplines, but not others. In case you are not familiar, you can consider the concept of a cultural worldview to encompass systems of meaning that each of us hold and which often appear as assumptions or habits that help us to interpret, create and recreate reality (Bellah et al. 1992, Kearney 1984, Koltko-Rivera 2004, Obasi et al 2009, Woodward 2019). These worldviews then frame the way in which we think, feel and even experience our social and material world. In other words, we all come to our lives and our work with assumptions that we may or may not be conscious of, but which consistently inform the decisions we make and our interactions with each other. So, from a social scientific viewpoint, worldviews underlie our approach to society, to each other and, specific to our interests here, to our work with students on projects that impact their own development, the lives of those whom they directly work with and those who use the products or services they produce.

By exploring our worldviews, we are examining the set of presuppositions that make up the interpretive frame we use to understand and act on reality. Carefully consider the following questions and write responses for yourself. These do not need to be shared with others in the workshop, but information on each and scholarship on worldviews and pedagogical practices that help to further student development will be shared during the workshop.

  1. How do you understand knowledge, knowing and the basis for knowing?
  2. How do you understand the nature of humans and patterns of human relationships?
  3. What do you hold as core values, and what is the source of those values? In other words, what does it mean to create a “good society?”
  4. What is your pedagogical approach? In other words, how would you define your philosophy of teaching and how it relates to the elements of your answers to the first three?


  • Bellah, Robert, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M. Tipton. 1992. Vintage Books.
  • Cultural Evolution Questionaire
  • Kearney, M. 1984. World View. Chandler & Sharp, Inc.
  • Koltko-Rivera M.E. 2004. “The Psychology of Worldviews.” Review of General Psychology, 8(1): 3-58.
  • Obasi, Ezemenari M., Lisa Y. Flores, and Linda James-Myers. 2009. “Construction and Validation of the Worldview Analysis Scale (WAS).” Journal of Black Studies, 39(6): 937-961.
  • Woodard, Shailee R. 2019. “Toward a Comprehensive Worldview Measure.” Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11321.

This exercise was developed by Colleen Greer and Marty J. Wolf as part of the Mozilla Foundation Responsible Computer Science Challenge. These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.