A Different View


Students explore philosophical topics in World of Ideas. 

Have you ever wondered if you are truly in control of your decisions? Have you ever questioned the state of reality? It might surprise you to know that those questions have names. If you have ever questioned reality, you have delved into the world of ideas known as philosophy. 

World of Ideas, taught by Jason Walker, is a philosophy class built on examining theories, free will, and other philosophical questions.

It is a collaborative class, as students have discussions about different beliefs and the beliefs that are used to guide one in making decisions. As Walker puts it, “[Our class]  talk[s] about theories of reality and states of being while in the process of acquiring knowledge.”

Students in the class describe World of Ideas as being a class based on principles already used in real life. “In World of Ideas, Mr. Walker teaches us about ethical frameworks…we all apply these principles unknowingly already, but now he’s kind of giving us a name to it and a better way to apply them,” said senior Clara Salazar.

As Walker best puts it, “ We really get into discussions about what we believe, why we believe it, [and] what beliefs guide us in making our decisions.” 

Students say they like the class because it helps them to understand the world a bit better. “I like how interesting [World of Ideas] is. [I’ve] never really had a class like this before. It kind of gets you thinking about your life and the perspective of others,” said senior Justin Harrison. 

For Salazar, her favorite part of the class are the discussions held between both the students and Walker to deepen their understanding of the subject. “My favorite part is when we have class discussions or time where we can speak our own opinions or what we think of what [Mr. Walker] is talking about and certain situations,” said Salazar. 

The class also helps students to consider the perspective of others, instead of focusing on just themselves. “[I like] how you get to see how other people think and different points of view[s] other than just yours,” said Harrison. 

Students are also asked to apply the ethical principles learned to materials from the real world. “There are situations, scenarios in which they have to apply the concepts from our class to what they’re seeing and how those are realized in books and films and movies and life,” said Walker. 

Last quarter for example, students watched the movie Inception when discussing the topic of determining reality from non-reality. 

Students who want to take a class that is different than the normal elective are encouraged to take the class. “I would definitely recommend this class to younger students coming up because I just think it’s so much different. It totally changes the pace of your day and how you go about school,” said senior David Legarda. 

In the end, Walker hopes that his students will increase their critical thinking skills after taking World of Ideas. “In other words, I’m looking for them to not only consider their own philosophies and what they believe…but I also want them to take this outside of the classroom and apply it as much as they can,” said Walker.