For the elements that are internally assessed, teachers have a certain amount of freedom to shape their own program, as they can choose between six different textbooks and find their own ways to examine their subject matter. This freedom does not extend to the preparation for the external examination. Teachers have to adhere to detailed demands which are centered around a specific theme. This theme is laid out in a textbook that consists of a general introduction by academic specialists as well as primary sources from representative philosophers. Examples of these themes at HAVO level are: Utopia, Philosophy of emotions, Global justice, and Philosophy of the self. Examples of themes at VWO level are: Virtue ethics, Reason and religion, Free will, Scepticism, and The good life and the free market.
Dirk Oosthoek describes the Dutch philosophy curriculum in more detail in a country report, published in the second issue of the Journal of didactics of philosophy.