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Perennialism and Essentialism

What is the difference in Essentialism and Perennialism in addressing the form below? There is so much information on these two philosophies and they are very close. I cannot separate and narrow down the information.
Text: Philosophical and Ideological Voices in Education, G. Gutek

Philosophy:

A. Description of Philosophy -

1. Human Nature

B. What

C. Why

2. Role of the School

What

Why

3. Role of the Teacher

What

Why

4. Teacher รข?" Student Relationship

What

Why

5. How Students Should Learn

What

Why

6. Curriculum Emphasis

What

Why

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Hi. As I have done for you earlier, the solution below has been made as concisely as possible but includes the key elements for each of the philosophy in mind. I can see that you are trying to differentiate essentialism from perennialism. The trick is, when 2 philosophies are quite similar, just focus on their differences. This way, you will remember their similarities but can tell how they are different from each other in the way that they are applied (for more see explanation below on perennialism). May I advise in using the listed references as well? This is important as it will help you in exploring these philosophies further. Good luck and if you have any questions about them, just leave a message and I'll do my best to explain things further.

Sincerely,
OTA 105878/Xenia Jones
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(Philosophies in Education)

Philosophy: Essentialism

Description of Philosophy - In a nutshell, essentialism as an educational paradigm proposes that children should learn in a way that ensures it becomes part of an enforceable learning routine. It proposes that children must be taught important and essential basic subjects (i.e. maths, science) thoroughly and rigorously to impart in them what is essential, differentiating the important and the fundamental from the non-consequential (i.e. non-academic subjects). The point of essentialism is to distil the fundamental academic subjects - Reading, Writing, Literature, Foreign Languages, History, Mathematics, Science and the Arts. As long as the academic board has identified and defined the essential academic subjects, curriculum can be designed to ensure their learning in a manner that can be thoroughly digested by students. This prepares students for the next level of their academic studies giving them a platform-foundation. At the same time also it enhances the mind in the use of logic and reason and prepares a generation of students in a way that ensures the promotion of common culture (i.e. in learning their national history, for example). What is remarkable about this paradigm is that it has been employed even by the Greeks and the Romans and a model learning paradigm in majority of school systems throughout history and even concurrently. Education advocate William Bagley in the 1930's did much to promote and publicize the importance of this approach and today, this policy influences how students learn in classrooms all over the world. Subjects are studied according to curriculum design and difficulty of learning is paced according to age group, 'grade levels' as well as learning capacity (as in some schools, students are grouped according to how fast or slow they learn).

1. Human Nature

The What - essentialists believe that it is the nature of man to be competitive. In social dynamics, we seek the approval of our peers, or our community, our elders. IN a classroom setting where essentialism is practiced, even without extra vocational training, students are given subject matter to study - the same materials, the same teachers. While abilities differ, the nature is the same - competitiveness. As such, all learn the same materials but because of the need to compete to show capacity and ability, the learning process is driven in a way that achievement is the goal. As such, more is learned due to the social element of performance.

The Why - why is essentialism important, tenet-wise? Well, one of the key elements in essentialism is the imparting of uniform knowledge. The learning material and experience is the same. Students, when studying their country's history learn of this history together in a social setting. When studying science and the arts, they discuss, perform and learn as a group even as they learn individually. What happens? Together they have a cultural experience as part of their socialization wherein they are imparted with knowledge and skills their elders have also come to know in the time they were students themselves. As such, culture and shared knowledge is imparted on them, preserving and sharing the greater culture and norms their society practices ensuring, for example, that certain knowledge and practices are passed on to the next generation. This is our nature - we impart, share and learn from our elders and in the case of essentialism, established knowledge.

2. Role of the School

The ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight,information and assistance in putting together the task set out in the original problem (see above); the topic asks for an exploration and application of the philosophies of education - essentialism and perennialism. The differences between them areexplained as they are used as perspectives from which to view the varied areas of intwrest and function in education. References are listed.

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