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PREPARED BY : Group # 01
ROLL No. Name Of Student
05 Asad Mahmood
09 Hinzal Arif
03 Ansa Manazar
01 Afifa Shazad
NOVEMBER 27, 2017
Educational Perennialism

Perennialism is a specific educational philosophy and is derived from
Greek philosophies such as idealism and realism. Perennialism was
started in the 1930s

Perennialism means “everlasting” like a perennial flower that comes up

year after year. Espousing that some ideas have lasted over centuries and
are as relevant today as when they were first conceived.

It is considered as one of the most important and conceptual

philosophy of education. Perennialism is a normative, conservative and
inflexible educational philosophy. In this theory or philosophy, students are
taught to reason through structured lessons and drills.

According to perennialists, one should teach the things that are of

everlasting pertinence to all people everywhere, and that the emphasis
should be on principles, not facts. Since people are human, one should
teach first about humans, rather than machines or techniques and liberal
rather than vocational topics.

Although perennialism may appear similar to essentialism,

perennialism focuses first on personal development, while essentialism
focuses first on essential skills. Essential curricula thus tend to be much
more vocational and fact based and far less liberal and principle-based.
Both philosophies are typically considered to be teacher-centered, as
opposed to student centered philosophies of education such as
progressivism. However since the teachers associated with perennialism
are in a sense the authors of Western masterpieces themselves, these
teachers may be open to student criticism through the associated Socratic
method, which, if carried out as true dialogue, is a balance between
students, including the teacher promoting the discussion.
One of the major tenets of perennialism is that knowledge that has
withstood the test of time is what is needed to be taught. The goals of
education have been the same throughout the time. Human nature is
constant and mankind has the ability to understand the truths of nature.

Perennialism is based on the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and

Thomas Aquinas. According to Roshman(1999), Aquina’s primary goal was
to reconcile faith and reason or philosophy and revelation. There are also
two types of Perennialists: those who maintain a religious approach to
education like Aquinas, those who follow a more secular view developed in
the 20th century by two well known educational philosophers, Robert
Hutchins and Mortimer Adler

Perennialism teaches concepts and focuses on knowledge and

the meaning Aimed at teaching students ways of thinking that will secure
individual freedoms, human rights, and responsibilities through the nature
of knowledge

Conclusion: (By Asad):

After studying a lot about perennialism, I come to know that it is conceptual
philosophy which is everlasting in its results. This philosophy of education mainly
focuses first on personal development, while essentialism focuses first on essential
skills. One more thing that I have learnt from it is that, perennialism suggests that
the focus of education should be the ideas that have lasted over centuries.

There are two main types of perennialism as under:
 Secular Perennialism
 Religious Perennialism

Secular Perennialism:
Secular perennialism is relatively a new philosophy dating from only
the mid-19th century. It has been supported by Mortimer Adler and Robert

As promoted primarily by Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler ,

secular perennialists expouse the idea that education should focus on the
historical development of continually developing common western base of
human knowledge and art, the timeless value of classic thought on central
human issues by Landmarck thinkers, and revolutionary ideas critical to
historical western paradigm shifts or changes in world view.

Secular perennialists emphasize the importance of learning to

reason. They argue that accurate, independent reasoning is the greatest
difference between a developed mind and an undeveloped mind. Thus it
should be a major goal of education.

A programme of studies which is highly general, non specialised,

and non vocational is advocated. They firmly believe that exposure of all
citizens to the development of thought by those most responsible for the
evolution of the western tradition is integral to the survival of freedoms,
human rights and responsibilities inherent to a true Democracy.

Secular perennialists agree with progressivists that memorization of

vast amounts of factual information and a focus on second hand
information in text books and lectures does not develop rational thought.
They advocate learning through the development of meaningful conceptual
thinking and adjustment by means of directed readings list of profound,
aesthetic and meaningful great books of Western canon. These books,
secular perennialists argue, are written by world’s finest thinkers, and
commulatively comprise the “Great Conversation” of mankind with regard
to the central human question. Their basic argument for the use of original
works is that, these are the products of “genius”.
Conclusion : (by Hinzal Arif):
My conclusion from this topic is that, our democracy depends upon the
reconstitution of our schools. Our schools are not turning out young people which
are prepared for high jobs and duties of citizenship in a democratic republic. The
business of saying, that the people are not capable of achieving a good education is
too strongly reminiscent of the opposition of democracy.

Religious perennialism:
Religious perennialism is also called Theistics perennialism.
Perennialism was originally religious in nature, developed first by
Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century in his work De Magistro (The teacher).
Theistic perennialist believe in the world of Reason, Being, and
God(metaphysics) and in truth as Reason and Institution. Furthermore,
ethics is the Rational Act and aesthetic is the matter of Creative Institution.
From this very general philosophical position, the Secular perennialist
would tend to view the learners as rational and spiritual being, the teacher
as a mental disciplinarian and spiritual leader, the Curriculum as the
subject matter of the intellect and spirit (mathematics, language, logic,
great books, Dogma etc.), the Teaching Method as training the intellect,
and the Social Policy as transmitting the great ideas, both secular and

In the nineteenth century, John Henry Newman presented a defense

of religious perennialism in The Idea of a University. Discourse 5 of that
work, "Knowledge Its Own End", is a recent statement of a Christian
educational perennialism.

Conclusion: (Ansa Manazar)

After studying a lot about Religious Perennialism, I conclude that
perennialism has a great relation with our religion. I came to know that applying
religious perennialism will not definitely set only the mind but the whole aspect of
the learners and he will better understand all ideas and knowledge of facts that will
be given to him and whatever is necessary for him.

Philosophical Rationale:
This is a very conservative and inflexible philosophy of education. It is
based on the view that reality comes from fundamental fixed truths,
especially related to God. It believes that people find truth through
reasoning and revelation and that goodness is found in rational thinking.

 Metaphysicsical Position:
Perennialists believe that all things are composed of form and matter
which wake up their essences. But in order for things to Be in the world
they must have Existence. Essence is the principle of potentiality while
Existence is the principal actuality. For the perennialists, Existence is of
higher order than essence. It stands in Aristotelian ontology. At the top of
the hierarchy is pure Existence or Being. The essence of being is existence.
For the ecclesiastical perennialist this Being is equated with God. God
cannot be known except through faith and revelation. Father William
McGucken has summed up the Catholic Church’s position nicely when he
writes: “God is pure actuality”

 Epistemological Position:
Perennialists see the analytical statement as a self-evident truth
that may be know apart from all empirical experience. It is, fro them, a
first principal. And according to the perennialists, man is capable of
instuiting first principal or having them revealed to him through

To summarize knowledge is independent of man. Truth can be

known by man through reason, but there are certain truths….which
transcend the “natural” order of universe_which can only be known
through intuition and/ or revelation.

Conclusion :(Afifa Shazad)

This philosophy because it only makes sense to learn from
the past and from our mistakes. I think most learning is done
through This philosophy focuses mainly teaching, preserving
the past, cognitive development and conformity. Through my
research ,I found that perennialism is an effective approach to
teaching. I agree with the beliefs of the experience, whether
good or bad. It is crucial for us as our society to learn from our
successors and to build from them. The world would not exist
today if this had not been done in the past. Finally we can say
that Perennialism is essential to learning, civilization and

 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.200-207. Retrieved from
 Travers, Paul D. and Ronald W. Rebore. Foundations of
Education, Becoming a Teacher. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs,
NJ: 1990. P. 66.
 Jump up^ Adler: op. cit., p. 62
 Jump up^ Erlich, Thomas. "Dewey versus Hutchins: The Next
Round". Education and Democracy: Re-imagining Liberal
Learning in America. Ed. Robert Orril. College Entrance
Examination Board, New York: 1997.

The End