2 What is PerennialismComes 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 Two kinds of Perennialism in Education 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 reasonAdvocates using original work in educationComprises the humanist and scientific traditionsFormulated in the 20th century by Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler
4 Two kinds of Perennialism in Education Religious Perennialism – focuses on the personal development of the student, and says that all learning could not come from within.First developed by Thomas AquinasReligious Perennialism continues to shape the nature of Catholic schools throughout the world
5 General Principles of Perennialism Permanence is more real than changeHuman nature remains essentially the same no matter the cultureThe good life-the life that is fit for man/woman to live-remains essentially the sameMoral principles remain essentially the sameEducation that men/women receive should remain essentially the same
6 People of Perennialism Robert HutchinsPerennialist educator who strongly believed in having traditional liberal arts in all schoolsIntroduced the Great Books programWanted NO extracurricular activities in schools…said they were irrelevant to the learning processStated that textbooks “have probably done as much to degrade the American intelligence as any single force.”Professor and Dean at Yale Law School
7 People of Perennialism Mortimer AdlerHelped Hutchins organize the Great Books programProposed a single elementary and secondary curriculum for all students, with no curricular electives except the choice of a second languageProfessor of Philosophy at Columbia University
8 Perennialism in the Classroom Students spend most of their time mastering the three “Rs”- reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmeticGreatest importance placed on readingTeach values and character training through discussions about underlying values and moral principles in storiesOnly elective is the choice of second language
9 Perennialism in the Classroom continued… Few, if any, textbooksSchools are organized around books, ideas, and conceptsTeach from the Great Books-works by history’s finest thinkers and writersTeachers do not lecture but lead and facilitate discussions
10 Perennialism in the Classroom Continued… Role of the TeacherTeach time-honored classicsLifelong LearnerDiscussion Leader…Not LecturerRole of the StudentActive Thinker/Learner
11 Perennialism in the Classroom continued… Teaching ToolsStandardized TestsTeacher-made testsMemorizationClassic BooksClassroom ManagementOrderly rowsNeat/Clean roomStrict rulesPunishment/Rewards
12 Does Perennialism Still Exist?? Perennialism was started in the 1930sPerennialism IS still aroundSt. John’s College in Annapolis, MarylandAdopted the Great Books as a core curriculum in 1937Readings in Literature, Philosophy, Theology, History, Social Sciences, Mathematics, and MusicStudents write extensively and attend weekly seminars to discuss assigned readings
13 More on St. John’s College Grades are given but students only receive their grades upon requestExpected to learn for learning’s sakeThrives in small-group atmosphere2nd campus opened in 1964 in Santa Fe, New Mexico
14 How Perennialism fits with Content Standards The high school reading standards sound very similar to the ideas of Perennialism.
15 ??? About PerennialismWith 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 References www.oregonstate.edu www.successfuleducation.info Ediger, M. (1997). Influence of ten leading educators of American education. Education, 118(2), 267. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.Perennialism (2003). Retrieved fromSadker, D., Zittleman, K. Teachers, Schools, and Society: A Brief Introduction to Education. p Retrieved from
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