Presentation on theme: "ESSENTIALISM Sarah Hawkes & Ryan Heasley. What is Essentialism? An educational theory that believes that the purpose of schooling is to impart necessary."— Presentation transcript:
What is Essentialism? An educational theory that believes that the purpose of schooling is to impart necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to enable young people to function as fully developed human beings in the modern world. Schools should be organized to transmit this core of essential material. Classrooms are teacher-centered.
Major Proponents William Bagley Influential member of the Essentialist Committee for the Advancement of American Education Opposed Progressivism and sought to create a philosophy of education which stressed the basics E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Believed in the importance of cultural literacy and extensive knowledge (facts, names, events, etc.)
Nature, Origin, & Motives Essentialism began in the 1930s and 1940s. It formed as a response to Progressivism’s overemphasis on a child-centered approach to education. There was a concern that schools were not helping students develop an appropriate knowledge. Essentialists believed schools should teach the basics (critical core of information and skills) to students so that they could be productive and contribute to modern society. Essentialism has its roots from idealism and realism.
Principles of Essentialism Learning involves hard work and discipline. The teacher has the authority. The core objective is for the student to learn the essential subjects (which can change over time). Schools should use traditional methods of instruction (lecture, rote memorization, etc.). Vocational courses are unjustifiable.
An Essentialist Classroom The teacher can best instruct students, so s/he does not let students’ interests determine what is taught. The student is to sit, listen, learn passively, and be respectful while the teacher instructs. Children come to learn what they need to know. Textbooks are frequently used. Students’ desks are typically arranged in rows. Lessons involve thinking and reasoning rather than hands-on, “learning by doing” activities. There is an emphasis on standards and testing.
Relation to Social Foundations of Education Interest in Essentialism revived after the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957. Congress passed the National Defense Education Act of 1958. Supported loans to college students and gave graduate fellowships. There was an emphasis on upgrading the instruction of math, science, and foreign language in elementary and secondary schools. “Back to Basics” Movement “3 Rs”: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic
Relation to Other Philosophies Similar to Perennialism, Essentialism rejects art, music, physical education, home economics, and vocational education. Unlike Perennialism, Essentialism accepts the idea that the core curriculum may change. While Progressivism is student-centered, Essentialism is teacher-centered.
Visibility of Essentialism Today No Child Left Behind State Standards Tests, tests, and more tests CAM (Character Academics Marketplace) High School in Battle Ground, WA 4 years of English, math, science, and history 2 years of a foreign language Electives are contracted outside of school
References Hirsch, E.D., Jr. (1987). Cultural literacy: What every American needs to know. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Kneller, G. (1971). Introduction to the philosophy of education (2 nd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Ozmon, H., & Craver, S. M. (2007). Philosophical foundations of education. (8 th ed.). Columbus, OH: Prentice Hall. Sadker, D.M., Sadker, M. P. & Zittleman, K. R. (2008). Teachers, schools, and society. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Sahu, B. (2007). The new educational philosophy. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. Starko, A., Sparks-Langer, G., Pasch, M., Frankes, L., Gardner, T., & Moody, C. (2003). Teaching as decision making: Successful practices for the elementary teacher (3 rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Tozer, S., Senese, G., & Violas, P. (2009). School and society: Historical and contemporary perspectives (6 th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.