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 Comes from the word perennial meaning everlasting.  A very conservative and inflexible philosophy of education.  A teacher-centered philosophy that.

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Presentation on theme: " Comes from the word perennial meaning everlasting.  A very conservative and inflexible philosophy of education.  A teacher-centered philosophy that."— Presentation transcript:

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2  Comes from the word perennial meaning everlasting.  A very conservative and inflexible philosophy of education.  A teacher-centered philosophy that emphasizes the importance of transferring knowledge, information, and skills from the older (presumably wiser) generation to the younger one.  Perennialism says since people are human, one should teach first about humans, not machines or techniques.

3  Secular Perennialism – the word perennial suggests something that lasts for an indefinite long time, recurs again and again, or is self-renewing. › Perennialism is learning to reason › Advocates using original work in education › Comprises the humanist and scientific traditions › Formulated in the 20 th century by Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler

4  Religious Perennialism – focuses on the personal development of the student, and says that all learning could not come from within. › First developed by Thomas Aquinas › Religious Perennialism continues to shape the nature of Catholic schools throughout the world

5 1. Permanence is more real than change 2. Human nature remains essentially the same no matter the culture 3. The good life-the life that is fit for man/woman to live-remains essentially the same 4. Moral principles remain essentially the same 5. Education that men/women receive should remain essentially the same

6  Robert Hutchins › Perennialist educator who strongly believed in having traditional liberal arts in all schools › Introduced the Great Books program › Wanted NO extracurricular activities in schools…said they were irrelevant to the learning process › Stated that textbooks “have probably done as much to degrade the American intelligence as any single force.” › Professor and Dean at Yale Law School

7  Mortimer Adler › Helped Hutchins organize the Great Books program › Proposed a single elementary and secondary curriculum for all students, with no curricular electives except the choice of a second language › Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University

8  Students spend most of their time mastering the three “Rs”- reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic  Greatest importance placed on reading  Teach values and character training through discussions about underlying values and moral principles in stories  Only elective is the choice of second language

9  Few, if any, textbooks  Schools are organized around books, ideas, and concepts  Teach from the Great Books-works by history’s finest thinkers and writers  Teachers do not lecture but lead and facilitate discussions

10  Role of the Teacher › Teach time-honored classics › Lifelong Learner › Discussion Leader…Not Lecturer  Role of the Student › Active Thinker/Learner

11  Teaching Tools › Standardized Tests › Teacher-made tests › Memorization › Classic Books  Classroom Management › Orderly rows › Neat/Clean room › Strict rules › Punishment/Rewards

12  Perennialism was started in the 1930s  Perennialism IS still around  St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland › Adopted the Great Books as a core curriculum in 1937 › Readings in Literature, Philosophy, Theology, History, Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Music › Students write extensively and attend weekly seminars to discuss assigned readings

13  Grades are given but students only receive their grades upon request  Expected to learn for learning’s sake  Thrives in small-group atmosphere  2 nd campus opened in 1964 in Santa Fe, New Mexico

14  standards/english-language-arts- standards/anchor-standards-6- 12/college-and-career-readiness- anchor-standards-for-reading/ standards/english-language-arts- standards/anchor-standards-6- 12/college-and-career-readiness- anchor-standards-for-reading/  The high school reading standards sound very similar to the ideas of Perennialism.

15  With this philosophy, what happens to the students who are poor readers or who do not like to read? Are we setting them up for failure?  Research showed that religious schools use the Perennialism philosophy…why?  Are electives really not important?  How can teachers teach all subjects without the use of textbooks?

16    Ediger, M. (1997). Influence of ten leading educators of American education. Education, 118(2), 267. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.  Perennialism (2003). Retrieved from  Sadker, D., Zittleman, K. Teachers, Schools, and Society: A Brief Introduction to Education. p Retrieved from


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