This support material is incorporated into critical challenges at grade 8, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.
The charts in Exploring Worldview help students collect information about their own worldview and that of others, including finding the implied worldview in artistic works and other historical artifacts. These charts are structured around the seven key elements of a worldview:
- View of human nature
- View of the good life
- Equality with others
- Responsibilities to others
- Relationship between the individual and the state (government and society)
- Relationship of humans with nature
- Sources of ethical wisdom.
The following documents can be adapted and re-saved for your needs.
Personal Worldview Questionnaire
This chart helps students draw conclusions about their own worldview, or possibly that of another individual or group, by indicating their level of agreement with statements related to each of the seven elements of a worldview. For example, in deciding on their view of human nature, students would consider to what extent they accept the statement, "People are naturally good." To use this chart, students:
- read the statement in the left-hand column associated with each of the seven elements of a worldview
- record their level of agreement in the right-hand column by circling the appropriate descriptor on a scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.”
This chart helps students draw conclusions from a text or visual representation about the author’s or artist’s worldview. To assist in completing this chart, students might consult Clues for Identifying Worldviews (Background Information), which suggests indicators to look for when interpreting an implied position on each of the elements of a worldview. For example, when interpreting an author’s view of responsibilities to others, students might look to see whether the author believes that people should look out for themselves (e.g., does the author condone or praise people who have succeeded at others' expense?) or that people should help others (e.g., does the author praise volunteers and those who help others at their own expense?). To use this chart, students:
- record their conclusions about the author’s/artist’s worldview in the middle column for each of the elements
- identify clues in the text/image to support each conclusion in the right-hand column.
This chart helps students select artistic works and other historical artifacts to represent each element of a group or society’s worldview. For example, students might consider which one of several images most powerfully represents a particular cultural group’s view of the relationship of humans with nature. To use this chart, students:
- record, in the left-hand column, the title of the artifact they have chosen to represent each element
- record, in the middle column, what the chosen artifact for each element reveals about the group’s worldview
- explain, in the right-hand column, the reasons why the chosen artifact is a powerful representation of the particular element.
Adapted from Critical Challenges Across the Curriculum series. Permission granted by The Critical Thinking Consortium for use by Alberta teachers.