What Is Essentialism In Philosophy Of Education
Essentialism tries to instill all students with the most essential or basic academic knowledge and skills and character development. Essentialists believe that teachers should try to embed traditional moral values and virtues such as respect for authority, perseverance, fidelity to duty, consideration for others, and practicality and intellectual knowledge that students need to become model citizens.

The foundation of essentialist curriculum is based on traditional disciplines such as math, natural science, history, foreign language, and literature. Essentialists frown upon vocational courses. In the essentialist system, students are required to master a set body of information and basic techniques for their grade level before they are promoted to the next higher grade.

The content gradually moves towards more complex skills and detailed knowledge. Essentialists argue that classrooms should be teacher-oriented. The teacher should serve as an intellectual and moral role model for the students. The teachers or administrators decide what is most important for the students to learn with little regard to the student interests.

The teachers also focus on achievement test scores as a means of evaluating progress. The essentialist classroom is centered on students being taught about the people, events, ideas, and institutions that have shaped American society. Essentialists hope that when students leave school, they will not only possess basic knowledge and skills, but they will also have disciplined, practical minds, capable of applying lessons learned in school in the real world.

Essentialism is different from what Dewey would like to see in the schools. Students in this system would sit in rows and be taught in masses. The students would learn passively by sitting in their desks and listening to the teacher. An example of essentialism would be lecture based introduction classes taught at universities.

  • Students sit and take notes in a classroom which holds over one hundred students.
  • They take introductory level courses in order to introduce them to the content.
  • After they have completed this course, they will take the next level course and apply what they have learned previously.
  • English 101 and English 102 are a specific example of essentialism.

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What is essentialism in philosophy of teaching?

ERIC Number: ED593579 Record Type: Non-Journal Publication Date: 2018 Pages: 12 Abstractor: As Provided ISBN: N/A ISSN: EISSN- EISSN: N/A Essentialism in Philosophy, Psychology, Education, Social and Scientific Scopes Sahin, Mehmet Online Submission, Journal of Innovation in Psychology, Education and Didactics v22 n2 p193-204 2018 Essentialism is an approach assuming that people and things have natural and essential common characteristics which are inherent, innate and unchanging.

  • Thus, it is regarded as an educational philosophy.
  • However, having the common essence and the same essentials at the same levels can lead to undesired practices in real life too.
  • Even nouns and pronouns used in daily communication reflect some connotations of a philosophy as a system of beliefs about reality based on how we perceive ourselves and others in terms of our existence.

How we address ourselves and others also represents our point of view related to the relationship and interaction between us and others. Essentialism as a philosophy has impact on our differentiation or unification ways while addressing. In this sense, the pronoun we represents a kind of unification while the pronoun you refers to a kind of discrimination or differentiation, which can be referred as a kind of taxonomy used in communication.

  1. This paper seeks to present how essentialism is used as the basis of our daily communication and its role in our discriminating and unifying efforts in social, cultural and scientific domains.
  2. Essentialism in education asserts that common and essential ideas and skills belonging to a certain culture should be taught to all citizens at the same level at especially primary school level.

To do this, the teacher’s authority in the classroom is emphasised and the subject matter is the centre of the curriculum. The essence or the centre of education is the core curriculum which is a combination of hard work and rigorous effort. The unification role of essentialism is represented in the core curriculum that aims to transfer the essential knowledge and skills needed for the equal and well-balanced citizens.
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What is the concept of essentialism?

Essentialism in everyday thought The following observations may seem wholly unrelated, but all can be understood within a framework of psychological essentialism:

The president of Harvard recently suggested that the relative scarcity of women in “high-end” science and engineering professions is attributable in large part to male-female differences in intrinsic aptitude (Summers, 2005). In a nationally representative survey of Black and White Americans, most adults agreed with the statement, “Two people from the same race will always be more genetically similar to each other than two people from different races” (Jayaratne, 2001). Nearly half the U.S. population reject evolutionary theory, finding it implausible that one species can transform into another (Evans, 2001). A recent study of heart transplant recipients found that over one third believed that they might take on qualities or personality characteristics of the person who had donated the heart (Inspector, Kutz, & David, 2004). One woman reported that she sensed her donor’s “male energy” and “purer essence” (Sylvia & Novak, 1997; pp.107, 108). It is estimated that roughly half of all adopted people search for a birth parent at some point in their lives (Müller & Perry, 2001). People place higher value on authentic objects than exact copies (ranging from an original Picasso painting to Britney Spears’s chewed-up gum; Frazier & Gelman, 2005).

Essentialism is the view that certain categories (e.g., women, racial groups, dinosaurs, original Picasso artwork) have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly. Furthermore, this underlying reality (or “essence”) is thought to give objects their identity, and to be responsible for similarities that category members share.

  • Although there are serious problems with essentialism as a metaphysical doctrine (Mayr, 1991), recent psychological studies converge to suggest that essentialism is a reasoning heuristic that is readily available to both children and adults.
  • In this piece I review some of the evidence for essentialism, discuss the implications for psychological theories, and consider how language influences essentialist beliefs.

I conclude with directions for future research. Evidence for psychological essentialism Medin and Ortony (1989) suggest that essentialism is a “placeholder” notion: one can believe that a category possesses an essence without knowing what the essence is.

For example, a child might believe that there exist deep, non-obvious differences between males and females, but have no idea just what those differences are. The essence placeholder would imply: that category members are alike in unknown ways, including a shared underlying structure (examples b, d, and f above); that there is an innate, genetic, or biological basis to category membership (examples a, b, and e above); and that categories have sharp and immutable boundaries (examples b and c above).

Elsewhere I have detailed at length the evidence that preschool children expect certain categories to have all of these properties (Gelman, 2003, 2004). Here I briefly illustrate with two examples: innate potential and underlying structure. Innate potential.

  1. One important kind of evidence for essentialism is the belief that properties are fixed at birth (also known as innate potential).
  2. To test this notion, researchers teach children about a person or animal that has a set of biological parents and then is switched at birth to a new environment and a new set of parents.

Children are then asked to decide whether the birth parents or the upbringing parents determine various properties. For example, in one item set, children learned about a newborn rabbit that went to live with monkeys, and were asked whether it would prefer to eat carrots or bananas, and whether it would have long or short ears (Gelman & Wellman, 1991).

Preschool children typically report that it prefers carrots and has long ears. Even if it cannot eat carrots at birth (because it is too young), and it is raised by monkeys that don’t eat carrots, and it never sees another rabbit, eating carrots is inherent to rabbits; this property will eventually be expressed.

Although there is debate as to when precisely this understanding emerges, even on a conservative estimate it appears by about 6 years of age. Intriguingly, for some categories children are more likely than adults to view properties as innately determined.

For example, 5-year-olds typically predict that a child who is switched at birth will speak the language of the birth parents rather than the adoptive parents (Hirschfeld & Gelman, 1997). Beliefs about birth and reproduction vary widely across cultures; nonetheless, Torguud adults in Western Mongolia (Gil-White, 2001), upper-caste adults in India (Mahalingam, 2003), Vezo children in Madagascar (Astuti, Carey, & Solomon, 2004), and Itzaj Maya adults and children in Mexico (Atran, Medin, Lynch, Vapnarsky, Ek’, & Sousa, 2001) all display a nativist bias.

Underlying structure. When forming categories, children readily consider properties beyond those that are superficial or immediately apparent. They pay close attention to internal parts and hidden causes (Diesendruck, 2001; Gopnik, Glymour, Sobel, Schultz, Kushnir, & Danks, 2004).

  • Preschool children infer that properties true of one category member will extend to others of the same category, even when these properties concern internal features and non-visible functions, and even when category membership competes with perceptual similarity.
  • For example, preschool children infer that a legless lizard shares more non-obvious properties with a typical lizard than a snake, even though the legless lizard and the snake look much more alike (Gelman & Markman, 1986; Jaswal & Markman, 2002).

Under certain conditions, young children also recognize that an animal cannot be transformed into another kind of thing (for example, a raccoon cannot become a skunk; Keil, 1989). Instead, category membership is stable over striking transformations-as long as the insides remain the same.

  • Implications of psychological essentialism Childhood essentialism poses a challenge to traditional theories of children’s concepts, which emphasized their focus on superficial, accidental, or perceptual features.
  • Many scholars have proposed one or another developmental shift with age: from concrete to abstract, from surface to deep, or from perceptual to conceptual.

In contrast, essentialism points out that abstract, non-obvious features are important to children’s concepts from a remarkably young age. Rather than developmental shifts, there are remarkable commonalities between the concepts of children and those of adults.

However, essentialism does not suggest that perceptual features or similarity are unimportant to early concepts. Even within an essentialist framework, appearances provide crucial cues to an underlying essence. Similarity appears to play an important role in fostering comparisons of representations and hence discovery of new abstractions (Namy & Gentner, 2002).

Rather than suggesting that human concepts overlook perception or similarity, essentialism assumes that a category has two distinct though interrelated levels: the level of observable reality and the level of explanation and cause. It is this two-tier structure that may serve to motivate further development.

  1. Most developmental accounts of cognitive change include something like this structure, such as equilibration, competition, theory change, analogy, or cognitive variability (see Gelman, 2003, for review).
  2. In all these cases, as with essentialism, children consider contrasting representations.
  3. When new evidence conflicts with the child’s current understanding, this can lead the child gradually to construct new representations.

Indeed, targeted interventions that introduce a non-obvious similarity between dissimilar things can lead to dramatic change in children’s concepts (Opfer & Siegler, 2004). Perhaps not surprisingly, then, children look beyond observable features when trying to understand the categories of their world.

In positing a reality beyond appearances, the search is on for more information, deeper causes, and alternative construals. Psychological essentialism also has implications for models of categorization. There is an idealized model of categorization that has formed the basis for much work in psychology.

Standard theories of concepts have been based on considering which known properties are most privileged, and in what form. In contrast, essentialism tells us that known properties do not constitute the full meaning of concepts. Concepts are also open-ended.

They are in part placeholders for unknown properties. Furthermore, it has often been assumed that there is a single, unitary process of categorization (Murphy, 2002). Yet an essentialism perspective, with its focus on both outward and underlying properties, suggests that categorization is more complex: Categorization serves many different functions, and we recruit different sorts of information depending on the task at hand.

Rapid identification calls for one kind of process; reasoning about genealogy calls for another. Task differences yield different categorization processes (Rips, 2001). Even when the task is restricted to object identification, people make use of different sorts of information depending on the task instructions (Yamauchi & Markman, 1998).

Language and Essentialism Essentialist beliefs are influenced by the language that children hear. Nouns imply that a category is relatively more stable and consistent over time and contexts than adjectives or verb phrases. For example, in one study (Gelman & Heyman, 1999), 5- and 7-year-old children first learned about a set of individuals with either a noun (“Rose is 8 years old.

Rose eats a lot of carrots. She is a carrot-eater,”) or a verb phrase (“Rose is 8 years old. Rose eats a lot of carrots. She eats carrots whenever she can,”). They were then probed for how stable they thought this category membership would be across time and different environmental conditions (e.g., “Will Rose eat a lot of carrots when she is grown up?” “Would Rose stop eating a lot of carrots if her family tried to stop her from eating carrots?”).

Children who heard the noun “carrot-eater” were more likely than children who heard the verbal phrase “eats carrots whenever she can” to judge that the personal characteristics would be stable over time and adverse environmental conditions. (For other examples of noun labeling effects, see also Walton & Banaji, 2004; Waxman, 2003; Xu, 2002.) Another important linguistic device is the generic noun phrase, which refers to a category rather than a set of individuals (e.g.

, “Cats see well in the dark” is generic; “These cats see well in the dark” is not). Generics express essential qualities and imply that a category is coherent and permits category-wide inferences (Carlson & Pelletier, 1995; Prasada, 2000). When 4-year-old children hear a new fact in generic form (e.g., “Bears have 3 layers of fur”), they treat this fact as typically true of most or all category members (Gelman, Star, & Flukes, 2002).

Generic nouns are plentiful in the speech that children hear (Gelman, Coley, Rosengren, Hartman, & Pappas, 1998; Gelman, Taylor, & Nguyen, 2004), and children are highly sensitive to formal linguistic cues that mark whether or not an utterance is generic (e.g., “Birds fly” vs. “The birds fly”; Gelman & Raman, 2003).

Additionally, there are language-specific devices that convey essentialism. For example, young Spanish-speaking children make inferences about the stability of a category based on which form of the verb “to be” is used to express it ( ser versus estar ; Heyman & Diesendruck, 2002).

Although it is unlikely that language is the source of psychological essentialism, it provides important cues to children regarding when to treat categories as stable and having an intrinsic basis. Conclusion Preschool children and adults from a variety of cultural contexts expect members of a category to be alike in non-obvious ways.

They treat certain categories as having inductive potential, an innate basis, stable category membership, and sharp boundaries. The implications of essentialism span widely, as seen in the examples that started this piece. Essentialized categories include not only biological species, but also social categories and traits (Giles, 2003; Heyman & Gelman, 2000a, 2000b; Yzerbyt, Judd, & Corneille, 2004; Haslam, Bastian, & Bissett, 2004).

These beliefs are not the result of a detailed knowledge base, nor are they imparted directly by parents, although language may play an important tacit role. Instead, they appear early in childhood with relatively little direct prompting. Although I have provided a framework of “psychological essentialism” to account for these data, numerous questions and debates remain unresolved.

To what extent is essentialism a single, coherent theory, as opposed to a disparate collection of beliefs? Do people invoke essences per se, or something less committal (Strevens, 2000; Ahn, Kalish, Gelman, Medin, Luhmann, Atran, Coley, & Shafto, 2001)? Why do children often appear to rely on superficial features, despite their sensitivity to non-obvious properties in the tasks described here (e.g., Sloutsky, 2003; Smith, Jones, & Landau, 1996)? Some scholars have argued that essentialism cannot account for certain experimental findings regarding adult word meaning (Malt, 1994; Sloman & Malt, 2003; Braisby, Franks, & Hampton, 1996).

For example, the extent to which different liquids are judged to be water cannot be fully explained by the extent to which they share the purported essence of water, H2O. Whether these findings undermine (or even conflict with) psychological essentialism is a matter of current debate (Gelman, 2003; Rips, 2001).

Many questions remain for future research. Ongoing investigations examine: developmental antecedents to essentialism in infancy (Graham, Kilbreath, & Welder, 2004; Welder & Graham, in press), the relation between perceptual and conceptual information in children’s categories (Rakison & Oakes, 2003), individual differences in essentialism (Haslam & Ernst, 2002), contexts that foster or inhibit essentialism (Mahalingam, 2003), links to stereotyping or prejudice (Bastian & Haslam, in press), and how best to model these representations in formal terms (Ahn & Dennis, 2001; Rehder & Hastie, 2004).

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London: Psychology Press. : Essentialism in everyday thought
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What is the goal of essentialism in education?

Essentialism The educational philosophy that will be examined in this chapter is Essentialism. This is a teacher- centered educational philosophy that emphasizes learning skills through traditional subjects like reading, writing, math, and science. In the classroom, essentialists value a focus on these core subjects over a wider array of subjects, as they believe students are able to gain deeper knowledge when exposed to fewer core subjects.

  • To better understand the foundation of Essentialism, this chapter will begin with an overview of the key characteristics of Essentialism.
  • Information related to how this philosophy of education approaches the curriculum and what it believes about instructional methods will also be presented.
  • Within this presentation, a discussion of the role of the teacher and role of the learner will be discussed.

Finally, key proponents of essentialism and their contributions to this philosophy of education will be presented. By the end of this section, the following Essential Questions will be answered:

  1. What are the philosophical foundations of Essentialism?
  2. What are three basic principles of Essentialism?
  3. What would be an example of the Essentialist philosophy in practice?

Pulling from the philosophies of idealism and realism, the essentialist philosophy is focused on bring education back to its most essential points. Essentialism began in the 1930s as a result of the “perceived decline 
of intellectual rigor and moral standards in the schools” (Webb et.

  • Al., 2010, 
  • Essentialist believed it was important to increase the educational standards in American Education so that we could compete with countries like Japan and Germany.
  • When our students were compared to students in countries like Japan and Germany in the 1930s, our students were not as academically competent as their counterparts.

Essentialist believed this had a lot to do with the watered down nature of the American curriculum. Therefore, essentialist proposed a teacher-centered approach to teaching and learning. When translated into practice, the teacher is the one who takes primary responsibility for organizing the classroom, curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

According to Johnson et. al. (2011), the three basic principles of essentialism are: 1) a core of information, 2) hard work and mental discipline, and 3) teacher-centered instruction. An example of these principles in practice would be in the “back-to-the-basics” movement that took place in the 1970’s.

This movement also emphasized:

  • Holding teachers accountable for student learning.
  • Providing instruction geared toward organized learning through textbooks.
  • Teaching methods that center on regular assignments, homework, recitations, and testing.

After mastering these principles and basic disciplines, advocates of this movement claimed that students could use the knowledge they gained to solve personal, social, and civic problems. In other words, they would have the skills they would need to become civilized members of society.

  • Who is seen as the authority in essentialism, 
 the teacher or the student? Why is this 
  • What do they focus on teaching in an 
 essentialist classroom? Why?
  • What are some characteristics that would 
 describe the essentialist teacher?
  • What are some characteristics that would 
 describe the essentialist classroom?
  • What are some characteristics that would 
 describe the essentialist student?

By the end of this section, the following Essential Questions will be answered:

  1. What is the focus of the curriculum in a essentialist classroom?
  2. How does an essentialist curriculum differ based upon the grade-level of the student?
  3. Do you think the focus of this curriculum is beneficial for students? Why 
 or why not?

The essentialist philosophy is rooted in the belief that their is a common core or knowledge base that all students should learn. According to Webb et. al. (2010), this “essential” knowledge base was broken down into the following content
 knowledge grade-levels, to ensure that students mastered the skills and subjects they need to learn to be successful and productive members of American society: What Is Essentialism In Philosophy Of Education Primary Level

            • Primary Level : Reading, 
 writing, and mathematics.

What Is Essentialism In Philosophy Of Education Upper Elementary Grades

            • Upper Elementary Grades:
 Reading, writing, and 
 mathematics, history, 
 geography, natural science, and foreign languages.

What Is Essentialism In Philosophy Of Education Secondary Level

            • Secondary Level: 4 yrs. of 
 English, 3 yrs. of mathematics, 3 yrs. of science, 3 yrs. of social 
 studies, and a half year of 
 computer science. College-Bound Students
            • College-Bound Students: All secondary level courses plus foreign language courses.

As demonstrated by these examples, the curriculum within an essentialist classroom is focused on teaching core content. Subjects outside of these areas are perceived to weaken academic rigor and thought to destroy schools. Johnson et. al. (2011) found that essentialism “assigns the schools the task of conserving the heritage and transmitting knowledge of the physical world” 

  • What is the common core?
  • What is cultural heritage and why do Essentialist believe it is important?
  • Does curriculum change slowly or quickly 
 according to essentialists? Please provide an example.
  • Who are some of the key proponents of 

At the end of this section, the following Essential Questions will be answered:

  1. What are the main methods of instruction in an essentialist classroom?
  2. What is the teachers 
role in the classroom?
  3. What is the students 
role in the classroom?
  4. What strategies do students use in essentialist classrooms?

Given the emphasis on teaching the core curriculum, traditional instructional strategies are used in the essentialist classroom. Examples of some of these instructional strategies include: What Is Essentialism In Philosophy Of Education

  • Lecture
  • Recitation
  • Discussion
  • Socratic dialogues
  • Written communication
  • Oral communication
  • Examination (Webb et. al., 2010)

Additional materials used by the teacher to promote the effective delivery of instruction include traditional textbooks, reading books and technology. Essentialist teachers approach instruction with very specific objectives in mind. This information is usually shared with students in the form of a detailed syllabi or class objectives.

  • Field trips What Is Essentialism In Philosophy Of Education
  • Laboratories
  • Audiovisuals materials, and
  • Nature Study.

All of these instructional strategies promote students understanding of the core knowledge essentialists have determined to be most important for an educated person to have.

  • What do you think of the instructional strategies used in the Essentialist 
  • What are two instructional strategies 
you are the most effective for students 
 and two instructional strategies you think 
 are the least effective for students? 
 Explain your answers.

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What are the 7 philosophy of education essentialism?

5 Things That Educators Should Know About the Philosophy of Education The word philosophy is derived from two Greek words. The first word, philo, means “love.” The second, sophy, means “wisdom.” Literally, then, philosophy means “love of wisdom” (Power, 1982).

  1. Each individual has an attitude toward life, children, politics, learning, and previous personal experiences that informs and shapes their set of beliefs.
  2. Although you may not be conscious of it, this set of beliefs, or personal philosophy, informs how you live, work, and interact with others.
  3. What you believe is directly reflected in both your teaching and learning processes.

This article explores the various philosophical views influence the teaching profession. It is important to understand how philosophy and education are interrelated. In order to become the most effective teacher you can be, you must understand your own beliefs, while at the same time empathizing with others.

In this chapter we will examine the study of philosophy, the major branches of philosophy, and the major philosophical schools of thought in education. You will have a chance to examine how these schools of thought can help you define your personal educational philosophy. Developing your own educational philosophy is a key part of your journey to becoming a teacher.

In this article, we will discuss the 5 things that educators should know about the philosophy of education. What are the major branches of philosophy? The four main branches of philosophy are metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic. Metaphysics considers questions about the physical universe and the nature of ultimate reality.

  1. Epistemology examines how people come to learn what they know.
  2. Axiology is the study of fundamental principles or values.
  3. Logic pursues the organization of the reasoning process.
  4. Logic can be divided into two main components: deductive reasoning, which takes general principles and relates them to a specific case; and inductive reasoning, which builds up an argument based on specific examples.

What are the major schools of thought in philosophy? Idealism can be divided into three categories: classical, religious, and modern. Classical idealism, the philosophy of the Greeks Socrates and Plato, searches for an absolute truth. Religious idealism tries to reconcile God and humanity.

Modern idealism, stemming from the ideas of Descartes, links perception and existence. Realism, the school of thought founded by Aristotle, believes that the world of matter is separate from human perceptions. Modern realist thought has led to the “blank slate” notion of human capabilities. Pragmatism believes that we should select the ideas, actions, and consequences with the most desirable outcome, as well as learning from previous experiences to achieve desirable consequences.

John Dewey’s Experimentalism brought the scientific method of inductive reasoning to the educational sphere. Postmodernism and existentialism focus on intricate readings of texts and social and political conventions, examining existing structures for flaws.

Essentially, they focus heavily on the present, and on understanding life as we know it. Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction methods of reading texts suggests that universal rationality is not found in objective reality, but in the text. Michel Foucault, another postmodern philosopher, examined the relationship between truth and power.

What are the major philosophies of education? The major philosophies of education can be broken down into three main types: teacher-centered philosophies, student-centered philosophies, and society-centered philosophies. These include Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, Social Reconstructionism, Existentialism, Behaviorism, Constructivism, Conservatism, and Humanism.

  1. Essentialism and Perennialism are the two types of teacher-centered philosophies of education.
  2. Essentialism is currently the leading style of public education in the United States.
  3. It is the teaching of basic skills that have been proven over time to be needed in society.
  4. Perennialism focuses on the teaching of great works.

There are three types of student-centered philosophies of education. Progressivism focuses on developing the student’s moral compass. Humanism is about fostering each student to his or her fullest potential. Constructivism focuses on using education to shape a student’s world view.

  1. There are two types of socially-centered philosophies of education.
  2. Reconstructionism is the perspective that education is the means to solve social problems.
  3. Behaviorism focuses on cultivating behaviors that are beneficial to society.
  4. What additional ideologies of educational philosophy exist? Other notable ideologies of educational philosophy include Nationalism, American Exceptionalism, Ethno-nationalism, Liberalism, Conservatism, and Marxism.

Nationalism is a national spirit, or love of country, that ties the interests of a nation to the symbols that represent it. American Exceptionalism is a form of Nationalism that implies that the United States is a special country that is privileged to have a manifest destiny.

Ethno-nationalism is similar to nationalism, but rather than the loyalty lying with one’s nation, it lies with one’s ethnic or racial group. Liberalism is the ideology that people should enjoy the greatest possible individual freedoms and that it should be guaranteed by due process of law. The opposite of liberalism is conservatism.

Conservatism is the belief that institutions should function according to their intended original purpose and any concepts that have not been maintained should be restored. Finally, Marxism is an ideological and political movement that focuses on the class system as a form of conflict within the social, political, and educational realms.

  • How is an educator’s educational philosophy determined? It is important to identify your own philosophy of education in order to understand your own system of values and beliefs so that you are easily able to describe your teaching style to potential employers.
  • While writing your own personal philosophy of education statement, it is vital to address several key components: How do I think? What is the purpose of education? What is the role of the teacher? How should the teacher teach? What is the role of the student? What should be taught? Additionally, make sure that you be yourself and are clear and concise.

Do some research about the school you are applying for and address their missions and goals in your statement. Remember that education is about the students and also remember to focus on your discipline. Think of the great teachers you have had in your life.
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Who created the philosophy of essentialism in education?

The Case for Essentialism in Education Source: Curriculum Planning. Forrest Parkay and Glen Hass, eds. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 2000. The Case for Essentialism in Education WILLIAM C. BAGLEY (1874-1946) ABSTRACT. Founder of the Essentialistic Education Society and author of Education and Emergent Man (1934), Bagley was critical of progressive education, which he believed damaged the intellectual and moral standards of students.

  • This article reflects the essentialist belief that our culture has a core of common knowledge that should be transmitted to students in a systematic, disciplined manner.
  • Though similar to perennialism, essentialism stresses the “essential” knowledge and skills that productive citizens should have, rather than a set of external truths.

What kind of education do we want for our children? Essentialism and Progressivism are terms currently used to represent two schools of educational theory that have been in conflict over a long period of time—centuries in fact. The conflict may be indicated by pairing such opposites as: effort vs.

  • Interest; discipline vs.
  • Freedom; race expenence vs.
  • Individual experience; teacher-initiative vs.
  • Learner-initiative; logical organization vs.
  • Psychological organization; subjects vs.
  • Activities; re mote goals vs.
  • Immediate goals; and the like.
  • Thus baldly stated, these pairings of assumed opposites are misleading, for every member of every pair represents a legitimate—indeed a needed—factor in the educative process.

The two schools of educational theory differ primarily in the relative emphasis given to each term as corn pared with its mate, for what both schools at tempt is an integration of the dualisms which are brought so sharply into focus when the opposites are set off against one another.

  • The fundamental dualism suggested by these terms has persisted over the centuries.
  • It appeared the seventeenth century in a school of educational theory the adherents of which styled themselves the “Progressives.” It was explicit in reforms proposed by Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Froebel ‘and Herbart.
  • It was reflected in the work of on Alcott, Horace Mann, and later of E.A.

D and Francis W. Parker; while the present outstanding leader, John Dewey, first came into prominence during the 1890s in an effort to re solve the dualism in his classic essay, now called “Interest and Effort in Education.”


The upward expansion of mass education first to the secondary and now to the college-level has been an outcome not alone of a pervasive faith in education, but also of economic factors. Power-driven machinery, while reducing occupations on routine levels, opened new opportunities in work for which general and technical training was essential.

  • That young people should seek extended education has been in evitable.
  • In opening high schools and colleges to ever-increasing numbers, it was just as inevitable that scholastic standards should be reduced.
  • Theories that emphasized freedom, immediate needs, personal interest, and which in so doing tended to discredit their opposites—effort, discipline, and remote goals—naturally made a powerful appeal.
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Let us consider, in a few examples, these differences in emphasis.1. Effort against Interest —Progressives have given the primary emphasis to interest, and have maintained that interest in solving a problem or in realizing a purpose generates effort. The Essentialists would recognize clearly enough the motivating force of interest, but would maintain that many interests, and practically all the higher and more nearly permanent interests grow out of efforts to learn that are not at the outset interesting or appealing in themselves.

If higher interests can grow out of initial interests that are intrinsically pleasing and attractive, well and good; but if this is not the case, the Essentialists provide a solution for the problem (at least, with some learners) by their recognition of discipline and duty—two concepts which the Progressives are disposed to reject unless discipline is self-discipline and duty self-recognized duty.2.

Teacher against Learner Initiative —Progressive theory tends to regard teacher- initiative as at best a necessary evil. The Essentialist holds that adult responsibility for the guidance and direction of the immature is inherent in human nature—that it is, indeed, the real meaning of the prolonged period of necessary dependence upon the part of the human offspring for adult care and support.

It is the biological condition of human progress, as John Fiske so clearly pointed out in his essay, “The Meaning of Infancy.” The Essentialists would have the teachers responsible for a systematic program of studies and activities to develop the recognized essentials. Informal learning through experiences initiated by the learners is important, and abundant opportunities for such experiences should be provided; but informal learning should be regarded as supplementary rather than central.3.

Race against Individual Experience —It is this plastic period of necessary dependence that has furnished the opportunities for inducting each generation into its heritage of culture. The cultures of primitive people are relatively simple and can be transmitted by imitation or by coming-of-age ceremonies.

  • More highly organized systems of education, however, become necessary with the development of more complicated cultures.
  • The need of a firmer control of the young came with this development.
  • Primitive peoples pamper and indulge their offspring.
  • They do not sense a responsibility to provide for their own future, much less for the future of their children.

This responsibility, with its correlative duty of discipline, is distinctly a product of civilization. The Progressives imply that the “child-freedom” they advocate is new, whereas in a real sense it is a return to the conditions of primitive social life.4.

  • Subjects against Activities —The Essentialists have always emphasized the prime significance of race-experience and especially of organized experience or culture—in common parlance, subject matter.
  • They have recognized, of course, the importance of individual or personal experience as an indispensable basis for interpreting organized race-experience, but the former is a means to an end rather than an educational end in itself.

The Progressives, on the other hand, have tended to set the “living present” against what they often call the “dead past.” There has been an element of value in this position of the Progressives, as in many other of their teachings. Throughout the centuries they have been Protestants against formalism, and especially against the verbalism into which bookish instruction is so likely to degenerate.

Present day Essentialists clearly recognize these dangers.5. Logical against Psychological Organization — The Essentialists recognize, too, that the organization of experience in the form of subjects involves the use of large-scale concepts and meanings, and that a certain proportion of the members of each generation are unable to master these abstract concepts.

For immature learners and for those who never grow up mentally, a relatively simple educational program limited in the earliest years of childhood to the most simple and concrete problems must suffice. This the Essentialists (who do not quarrel with facts) readily admit.

The tendency throughout the long history of Progressivism, however, has been to discredit formal, organized, and abstract learnings in toto, thus in effect throwing the baby out with the bath, and in effect discouraging even competent learners from attempting studies that are “exact and exacting.” WHAT ABOUT FAILURE? The Essentialists recognize that failure in school is unpleasant and that repetition of a grade is costly and often not effective.

On the other hand, lack of a stimulus that will keep the learner to his task is a serious injustice to him and to the democratic group, which has a stake in his education. Too severe a stigma has undoubtedly been placed upon school failure by implying that it is symptomatic of permanent weakness.

  1. By no means is this al ways the case.
  2. No less a genius than Pasteur did so poorly in his efforts to enter the Higher Normal School of Paris that he had to go home for further preparation.
  3. One of the outstanding scientists of the present century had a hard time in meeting the requirements of the secondary school, failing in elementary work of the field in which he later became world-famous.

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS? There can be little question as to the essentials. It is no accident that the arts of recording, computing, and measuring have been among the first concerns of organized education. Every civilized society has been founded upon these arts, and when they have been lost, civilization has invariably collapsed.

Nor is it accidental that a knowledge of the world that lies beyond one’s immediate experience has been among the recognized essentials of universal education, and that at least a speaking acquaintance with man’s past and especially with the story of one’s country was early provided for in the program of the universal school.

Investigation, invention, and creative art have added to our heritage. Health instruction is a basic phase of the work of the lower schools. The elements of natural science have their place. Neither the fine arts nor the industrial arts should be neglected.

  • ESSENTIALISTS ON DEMOCRACY The Essentialists are sure that if our democratic y is to meet the conflict with totalitarian states, there must be a discipline that will give strength to the democratic purpose and ideal.
  • If the theory of democracy finds no place for discipline, then before long the theory will have only historical significance.

The Essentialists stand for a literate electorate. That such an electorate is in dispensable to its survival is demonstrated by the fate that overtook every unschooled democracy founded as a result of the war that was “to make the world safe for democracy.” And literacy means the development and expansion of ideas; it means the basis for the collective thought and judgment, which are the essence of democratic institutions.

  2. To summarize briefly the principal tenets of the present-day Essentialists:

1. Gripping and enduring interests frequently, and in respect of the higher interests almost always, grow out of initial learning efforts that are not intrinsically appealing or attractive. Man is the only animal that can sustain effort in the face of immediate desire.

To deny to the young the benefits that may be theirs by the exercise of this unique human prerogative would be a gross injustice.2. The control, direction, and guidance of the immature by the mature is inherent in the prolonged period of infancy or necessary dependence peculiar to the human species.3.

While the capacity for self-discipline should be the goal, imposed discipline is a necessary means to this end. Among individuals, as among nations, true freedom is always a conquest, never a gift.4. The freedom of the immature learner to choose what he shall learn is not at all to be corn pared with his later freedom from want, fraud, fear, superstition, error, and oppression—and the price of this latter freedom is the effortful and systematic mastery of what has been winnowed and refined through the long struggle of man kind upward from the savage—and a mastery that, for most learners, must be under guidance of competent and sympathetic but firm and exacting teachers.5.

  • Essentialism provides a strong theory of education; its competing school offers a weak theory.
  • If there has been a question in the past as to the kind of educational theory that the few remaining democracies of the world need, there can be no question today.
  • William C.
  • Bagley was Professor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.

From Today’s Education: Journal of the National Education Association 30, no.7 (October 1941): 201-202. Used by permission of the publisher. QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION 1. What is the current “status” of the essentialist orientation to the curriculum? How widespread is this approach to curriculum planning at the elementary, middle, secondary, and higher education levels? 2.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of an essentialist curriculum? 3. How might Bagley respond to critics who charge that a tradition-bound essentialist curriculum indoctrinates students and makes it more difficult to bring about desired changes in society? 4. Bagley states that “There can be little question as to the essentials.

It is no accident that the arts of recording, computing, and measuring have been among the first concerns of organized education.” Do you agree with his view? What “basics” might be overlooked in an essentialist curriculum? The Case for Progressivism in Education WILLIAM HEARD KILPATRICK (1871-1965) ABSTRACT.

Often called “the father of progressive education, “Kilpatrick believed that the curriculum should be based on “actual living. “In this article, Kilpatrick sets forth the key tenets of a progressive curriculum: (1) the curriculum, which begins with children ‘s natural interests, gradually prepares them to assume more socially responsible roles; (2) learning is most effective f it addresses students ‘purposes and concerns; (3) students learn to become worthy members of society by actively participating in socially useful work; (4) the curriculum should teach students to think intelligently and independently; (5) the curriculum should be planned jointly by teachers and students; and (6) students learn best what they practice and live.

The title of this article is the editor’s. The writer himself questions whether labels as applied to a living and growing outlook may not do more harm than good. Still, for certain purposes, a name is desirable. In what follows the writer tries to state his own position in a way to seem fair and true to that growing number who approve the same general outlook.1.

The center and nub of what is here advocated is that we start with the child as a growing and developing person and help him live and grow best; live now as a child, live richly, live well; and thus living, to increase his effective participation in surrounding social life so as to grow steadily into an ever more adequate member of the social whole.

Among the signs that this desirable living and consequent growth are being achieved, two seem especially significant. One is child happiness—for best work is interested work, and to be zestfully interested and reasonably successful is to be happy. The other, less obvious, but highly desirable is that what is done now shall of itself continually sprout more of life, deeper insights bringing new suggestions with new desires to pursue them.2.

  1. The second main point has to do with learning and how this best goes on so as most surely to come back helpfully into life.
  2. For the test of learning is whether it so builds mind and character as to enhance life.
  3. Two types of learning must here be opposed, differing so much in degree as to amount to a difference in kind.

In one the learner faces a situation of his own, such that he himself feels inwardly called upon to face it; his own interests are inherently at stake. And his response thereto is also his own; it comes out of his own mind and heart, out of his own very self.

  • He may, to be sure, have had help from teacher or book, but the response when it comes is his.
  • With the other kind of learning, the situation is set by the school in examination or recitation demands.
  • This accordingly seems to the typical learner as more or less artificial and arbitrary; it does not arise out of his own felt needs.

Except for the school demands there would be no situation to him. His response to this hardly felt situation is itself hardly felt, coming mainly out of words and ideas furnished by the textbook or, with older students, by the professor’s lectures. This second, the formal school kind of learning, we all know.

  1. Most of us were brought up on it.
  2. Except for those more capable in abstract ideas, the learning thus got tends to be wordy and shallow.
  3. It does little for mind or heart, and possibly even less for character, for it hardly gets into life.
  4. The first kind has great possibilities.
  5. We may call it life’s kind.

It furnishes the foundation for the type of school herein advocated. Since what is learned is the pupil’s own response to a situation felt to be his own, it is at once both heartfelt and mind-created. It is learned as it is lived; in fact, it is learned because it is lived.

  1. And the more one’s heart is in what he does, the more important (short of too painful solicitude) it is to him, the more impelling will be the situation he faces; and the stronger accordingly will be his response and in consequence the stronger the learning.
  2. Such learning comes from deeper down in the soul and carries with it a wider range of connection both in its backward and in its forward look.

If we take the verb “to live” in a full enough sense, we may then say that, by definition, learning has taken place when any part or phase of experience, once it has been lived, stays on with one to affect pertinently his further experience. And we assert that we learn what we live and in the degree that we live it.

A further word about the school use of this life-kind of learning may help. Suppose a class is studying Whittier’s “Barefoot Boy.” I as teacher cannot hand over appreciation to John, nor tell it to him, nor can I compel him to get it. He must in his own mind and heart see something in the poem that calls out in him approval and appreciation.

He must first respond that way before he can learn appreciation. Learning here is, in fact, the felt appreciation so staying with John as to get into his mind and character and thence come out appropriately into his subsequent life. It is the same way with any genuinely moral response attitude.

I cannot compel it. John must first feel that way in his own heart and accept it as his way of responding. Such an acceptance on John’s part fixes what is thus learned in his character there to stay till the right occasion shall bring it forth again in his life. As it is accepted, so is it learned. It is the same with ideas.

Essentialism in Education (Essentialist Philosophy of Education, Essentialist Theory of Education)

These can be learned only as they are first lived. I cannot simply give John an idea, no matter how skillful I am with words. He may read and I may talk, but he has to respond out of his own mind with the appropriate idea as his own personal insight. He has to see it himself something has to click inside him; the idea has to come from within, with a certain degree of personal creative insight, as his response to the problematic situation.

Otherwise he hasn’t it even though he may fool himself and us by using the appropriate words. I as teacher may help John to see better than otherwise he would, and his fellow pupils and I may help him make up his own mind and heart more surely to the good, but he learns only and exactly his own response as he himself accepts this as his way of behaving.

We may sum all this up in the following words: I learn my responses, only my responses, and all my responses, each as I accept it to act on. I learn each response in the degree that I feel it or count it important, and also in the degree that it interrelates itself with what I already know.

All that I thus learn I build at once into character. The foregoing discussion makes plain once more how the presence of interest or purpose constitutes a favorable condition for learning. Interest and felt purpose mean that the learner faces a situation in which he is concerned. The purpose as aim guides his thought and effort.

Because of his interest and concern he gets more whole heartedly into action; he puts forth more effort; what he learns has accordingly more importance to him and probably more meaningful connections. From both counts it is better learned.3. Each learner should grow up to be a worthy member of the social whole.

Thus to grow up means to enter more fully and responsibly into the society of which one is a member and in so doing to acquire ever more adequately the culture in terms of which the group lives. The school exists primarily to foster both these aspects of growing up. The older type school, holding itself relatively secluded within its own four walls, shut its pupils off from significant con tact with actual surrounding life and instead had them learn words about life and about the actual culture.

The newer school aims explicitly to have its pupils engage actively in life, especially in socially useful work within the community, thus learning to manage life by participation in life, and acquiring the culture in life’s varied settings where alone the culture is actually at work.4.

  • The world in which we live is changing at so rapid a rate that past-founded knowledge no longer suffices.
  • Intelligent thinking and not mere habit must henceforth rule.
  • Youth must learn better to think for themselves.
  • They must understand the why of our institutions, of our system of legal rights, of moral right and wrong—because only then can they use these essential things adequately or change them intelligently.

The newer school thus adds to its learning by living the further fact of pervasive change and undertakes to upbuild its pupils to the kind of thoughtful character and citizenship necessary for adequate living in such a changing social world. The older school cared little either for living or for change.

  1. Stressing book study and formal information and minimizing present-day problems, it failed to build the mind or character needed in modern life.5.
  2. The curriculum, where pupil and teacher meet, is of necessity the vital focus of all educational theory.
  3. The older curriculum was made in advance and given to the teacher who in turn assigned it as lessons to the pupils.

It was a bookish content divided into separate subjects, in result remote from life. The pupils in their turn “learned” the lessons thus assigned and gave them back to the teacher in recitation or examination, the test being (in the main) whether what was given back was the same as what had been given out.

  1. Even the few who “succeeded” on this basis tended to get at best a pedantic learning.
  2. The many suffered, being denied the favorable opportunity for living sketched above.
  3. The lowest third suffered worst; such a curriculum clearly did not fit them, as becomes now more obvious with each advance of school leaving age.

The newer curriculum here advocated is first of all actual living—all the living of the child for which the school accepts responsibility. As we saw earlier, the child learns what he actually lives and this he builds at once into character. The quality of this living becomes then of supreme importance.

  1. The school, as we say, exists precisely to foster good living in the children, the kind of living fit to be built into character.
  2. The teacher’s work is to help develop and steer this desirable living.
  3. This kind of curriculum, being real child living, cannot be made in advance and handed down either to teachers or to pupils.

Living at the external command of another ceases by that much to be living for the person himself and so fails to meet desirable learning conditions. The curriculum here sought is, then, built jointly by pupils and teacher, the teacher remaining in charge, but the pupils doing as much as they can.

  • For these learn by their thinking and their decisions.
  • The teacher helps at each stage to steer the process so as to get as rich living and, in the long run, as all-round living as possible.
  • The richness of living sought includes specifically as much of meaning as the children can, with help from teacher and books, put into their living, meanings as distinctions made, knowledge used, considerations for others sensed, responsibilities accepted.
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The all-roundedness refers to all sides and aspects of life, immediately practical, social- moral, vocational, esthetic, intellectual. To base a curriculum on a scheme of set subjects is for most children to feed them on husks; the plan here advocated is devised to bring life to our youth and bring it more abundantly.6.

Are we losing anything in this new type school? a. Do the children learn? Yes. Read the scientific studies (Wrightstone’s, for example, and Aikin’s report on the Thirty Schools) and see that the evidence is overwhelming. The “tool subjects” are learned at least as well, while the others depending on initiative and creative thinking are learned better.

Honesty is much better built.b. Does the new plan mean pupils will not use books? Exactly no; they do now show far more actual use of books. Textbooks as such will decrease perhaps to nothing, but the use of other books will appreciably increase, as experience already well shows.c.

  • Will children be “spoiled” by such a regime? Exactly no.
  • For character building, this kind of school far surpasses the old sit-quietly-at-your- desk type of school.
  • Modern psychology is well agreed that one cannot learn what one does not practice or live.
  • The school here advocated offers abundant opportunity to associate on living terms with others and to consider them as persons.

The schoolroom of the older school, in the degree that it succeeded with its rules, allowed no communication or other association except through the teacher. Accordingly, except for a kind of negative morality, it gave next to no chance to practice regard for others.

The discipline of the school here advocated is positive and inclusive, consciously provided by the school, steered by the teacher, and lived by the pupils. Prejudiced journalists have caricatured the liberty as license; intelligent observation of any reasonably well-run school shows exactly the contrary.

This discipline is emphatically the constructive kind. William Heard Kilpatrick was Professor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. From Today’s Education: Journal of the National Education Association 30, no.8 (November 1941): 231—232. Used by permission of the publisher.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION 1. What is the current “status” of the progressive orientation to the curriculum? How widespread is this approach to curriculum planning at the elementary, middle, secondary, and higher education levels? 2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of a progressive curriculum? 3. What does Kilpatrick mean when he says, “we learn what we live and in the r’.

degree that we live it”? What learning experiences from your own life support Kilpatrick’s view? 4. What is Kilpatrick’s view of discipline as reflected in the following: “The discipline of the school here advocated is positive and inclusive, consciously provided by the school, steered by the teacher, and lived by the pupils”? How does this view differ from that usually associated with the term discipline? : The Case for Essentialism in Education
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What is an example of essentialism in teaching?

Essentialism tries to instill all students with the most essential or basic academic knowledge and skills and character development. Essentialists believe that teachers should try to embed traditional moral values and virtues such as respect for authority, perseverance, fidelity to duty, consideration for others, and practicality and intellectual knowledge that students need to become model citizens.

The foundation of essentialist curriculum is based on traditional disciplines such as math, natural science, history, foreign language, and literature. Essentialists frown upon vocational courses. In the essentialist system, students are required to master a set body of information and basic techniques for their grade level before they are promoted to the next higher grade.

The content gradually moves towards more complex skills and detailed knowledge. Essentialists argue that classrooms should be teacher-oriented. The teacher should serve as an intellectual and moral role model for the students. The teachers or administrators decide what is most important for the students to learn with little regard to the student interests.

The teachers also focus on achievement test scores as a means of evaluating progress. The essentialist classroom is centered on students being taught about the people, events, ideas, and institutions that have shaped American society. Essentialists hope that when students leave school, they will not only possess basic knowledge and skills, but they will also have disciplined, practical minds, capable of applying lessons learned in school in the real world.

Essentialism is different from what Dewey would like to see in the schools. Students in this system would sit in rows and be taught in masses. The students would learn passively by sitting in their desks and listening to the teacher. An example of essentialism would be lecture based introduction classes taught at universities.

  1. Students sit and take notes in a classroom which holds over one hundred students.
  2. They take introductory level courses in order to introduce them to the content.
  3. After they have completed this course, they will take the next level course and apply what they have learned previously.
  4. English 101 and English 102 are a specific example of essentialism.

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What are examples of essentialism?

Essentialism is apparent in everyday life and is a key part of human thought. A lay example of essentialism would include the beliefs that every person is unique and, therefore, getting another person’s heart during a transplant would lead to the inheritance of some of the person’s traits.
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What are the 2 types of essentialism?

The two types of essentialism are metaphysical and psychological. Metaphysical essentialism is the belief that an object has an essence that remains changed; without this essence, the object would not be what it is.
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What is the opposite of essentialism?

Constructionism: It Is What We Say It Is. – Social constructionism is the polar opposite of essentialism. Social Constructionism argues that nothing has an inherent, immutable quality to it, but rather the qualities of things are created through social interaction.

Social Constructions are the meanings we attach to symbols, objects, and other things which are created through an informal process of social negotiation. Or simply put, “it is what we say it is.” Sociologists see race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexuality, and pretty much everything else as a social construction.

This is not to say that these things aren’t real. A $1 bill and a $100 bill are basically the exact same thing in terms of their physical characteristics. The fact that one of them is worth 100 times more than the other does not come from their material differences, but rather the differences in how they were socially constructed.

  1. The Thomas Theorem states that situations defined as real are real in their consequences (Thomas and Thomas 1928).
  2. Thus, even if both the $1 bill and the $100 bill are nearly identical physically, if people believe that the Benjamin is worth 100 Washingtons then the value of a Benjamin is real in its consequences.

The big idea here is that the meanings we attach to symbols, objects, and every other thing in society are separate from the symbols, objects and things themselves. The meanings are not inside the things, but rather they are attached to them socially.
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Is existentialism student or teacher centered?

3. Existentialism in the Classroom – Existentialism is another student-centered philosophy. “Existentialism places the highest degree of importance on student perceptions, decisions, and actions” and individuals are responsible for determining for themselves what is true or false, right or wrong, beautiful or ugly (Sadker and Zittleman, 2007).

  1. To sum it up, students make choices and then take the time to evaluate those choices.
  2. The teacher’s role is to help students define their own essence by exposing them to various paths they may take in life and by creating an environment in which they can freely choose their way” (Sadker and Zittleman, 2007).

This philosophy means that students think for themselves and are aware of responsibilities assigned to them. Existentialism philosophies say no to tradition and focuses on the students’ unique talents. The teacher views each student as an individual and students learn how to achieve their full potential by trying new concepts.
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What is the disadvantage of essentialism?

Essentialism – “Essentialism asserts that certain basic ideas skills and bodies of knowledge are essential to human culture and civilization” (Gutek, 263). Essentialists believe it is more beneficial for students to learn from established fundamentals of education.

  1. In other words, they abide by the “back to basics” phrase.
  2. Teachers rely on traditional structure to gear their components of the curriculum.
  3. If the word Essentialism was dissected, we would find the word “essence”.
  4. The word essence “refers to what is necessary to and indispensable about something.
  5. Essence relates to the intrinsic or fundamental character or nature of something rather than its accidental or incidental features” (Gutek, 263).

Dr. Allen states within his online lectures, “Essentialists say that the child is a learner to be shaped and developed. Essentialists say that the mind is the essential element of reality (that’s called idealism). Whereas the mind learns from the physical world and the contact with the physical world is called realism.

  1. So, realism and idealism by some definition are both branches of Essentialism.” This particular teaching philosophy is known as Basic Education and tends to focus on the specifics.
  2. Essentialism is extremely orderly, academically systematic, and emphasizes discipline.
  3. A disadvantage of Essentialism is that it is “undemocratic in its overemphasis on the place of adults and the need for conservation of the culture” (Howick, 53).

Since it mainly follows routines and has no emphasis on the student’s interest, it may also cause a cultural delay between the student and society.
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What are the three rules of essentialism?

The 3 Steps Of Essentialism: How To Achieve More By Doing Less, According To Author Greg McKeown A woman writes her business goals for the coming year photo credit: Getty Getty by leadership and business consultant Greg McKeown, champions the lifestyle of essentialism, which he defines as “the relentless pursuit of less but better.” He further explains, “Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done.

It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” There is a method, McKeown writes, to this mindset, and it comprises of three steps: explore and evaluate, eliminate and execute.

The three steps are parts of a cyclical process to evaluate opportunities and obligations, and how essentialists honor the obligations they choose to the best of their ability. The book delves into specific methods of McKeown’s for each step, but the general idea of each step is listed below.1.

Explore And Evaluate According to McKeown, a core difference between “essentialists” and “non-essentialists” is essentialists actually consider and evaluate more options than their non-essentialist counterparts. Part of their logic is because they will completely commit to only one or two efforts, they will deliberately consider a broad set of options so they are certain they make the right decisions.

Non-essentialists will sign-up for more efforts without carefully considering if if will advance their goal, they often sign-up simply because someone asks them. The question essentialists ask themselves when weighing opportunities and obligations is,”Will this activity or effort make the highest possible contribution toward my goal?” 2.

Eliminate Life is never as simple as things that “make the highest possible contribution toward my goal” and things that “don’t make the highest possible contribution toward my goal,” there is a lot of gray area, and we often want to please our colleagues, family and friends by saying, “yes” to them.

The more things in your life that you leave in the gray area, the less focus you will give to your most meaningful priorities. McKeown points out it takes courage to eliminate opportunities and obligations, because it’s not just a mental discipline, it is an emotional discipline to reject social pressure.

He writes that the question we all need to ask ourselves is, not how we can do it all, but who gets to choose what we will and will not do. If we do not choose, someone else will choose for us, pulling us in different directions we don’t want to go. So choose you, give yourself the power to direct your time and energy.

And by eliminating the non-essentials, you create time to focus on the essential.3. Execute Once you decide which activities and efforts to keep, essentialists invest the time saved in “creating a system and removing obstacles that make execution as easy as possible,” McKeown writes.

  1. Instead of thinking of execution as something that needs to be powered through, create a system that makes the process of executing your chosen efforts joyous and efficient.
  2. Eliminate obstacles, distractions, unnecessary errands, meetings, etc.
  3. That are unproductive and a deterrent to focus.
  4. Streamline your efforts and thought process so you are as productive and focused as possible.

: The 3 Steps Of Essentialism: How To Achieve More By Doing Less, According To Author Greg McKeown
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What is the role of teacher in essentialism?

Criticism of essentialism – Because Essentialism is largely teacher-centered, the role of the student is often called into question. Presumably, in an essentialist classroom, the teacher is the one designing the curriculum for the students based upon the core disciplines.

  • Moreover, he or she is enacting the curriculum and setting the standards which the students must meet.
  • The teacher’s evaluative role may undermine students’ interest in study.
  • As a result, the students begin to take on more of a passive role in their education as they are forced to meet and learn such standards and information.

Furthermore, there is also speculation that an essentialist education helps in promoting the cultural lag, This philosophy of education is very traditional in the mindset of passing on the knowledge of the culture via the academic disciplines. Thus, students are forced to think in the mindset of the larger culture, and individual creativity, and subversive investigation are often not emphasized, or even outright discouraged.
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What are the problems with essentialism in education?

One of the greatest criticisms of Essentialism in Education is the fact that this idea stresses solely on teaching the traditional basic subjects to the maximum level, meaning there is less capacity to teach more contemporary and creative education and ‘manufacturing’ students that do not think by themselves.
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What are the benefits of essentialism?

Key Takeaways –

Essentialism is not a physical thing like minimalism. Essentialism is a state of mind. It is about focusing on what is important to you and not allowing outside noise to interfere with your focus.Essentialism allows you to take control of your day by allowing you to assess and evaluate opportunities before accepting them.Finally, essentialism helps you focus on less, and this allows you to do these things better in the long run.

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Who are the key theorists of essentialism?

Thought Leaders in Essentialism William Bagley, took progressivist approaches to task in the journal he formed in 1934. Other proponents of Essentialism are: James D. Koerner (1959), H.G. Rickover (1959), and Theodore Sizer (1985).
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What are the types of essentialism in education?

Essentialism may be divided into three types: sortal, causal, and ideal.
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Who is the father of essentialism?

Essentialism Father of Essentialism: William Bagley.
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Is essentialism a learner centered teaching philosophy?

Whether they are driven to improve their learning environments or to develop programs and curricula, most educators in leadership or development roles gained necessary expertise by earning advanced degrees, such as a Master of Science in Educational Theory and Practice,

Advanced degrees introduce educators to theories and best practices that can elevate their teaching and improve student learning. The fundamentals of successful teaching Fundamental to any advanced knowledge is a core understanding of the principles of education. These fundamentals are the basis behind the range of skills teachers use to reach as many students as possible, despite the different learning needs that may exist in one classroom.

Learning skills such as differentiation allows teachers to adapt their teaching methods as necessary to make sure that no one student falls behind the others in the classroom. Teachers who earn a Master of Science in Educational Theory and Practice acquire advanced understanding of the philosophies of education that generate today’s teaching approaches.

  • Understanding how education arrived at its current state enables teachers to keep a critical eye on the field’s new direction, ensuring that it develops in a manner best suited to student learning.
  • Philosophies of education generally fit into two categories: teacher-centered learning and student-centered learning.

Teacher-centered philosophies emphasize that the best way to ensure student learning is to ensure teaching uniformity. Perennialism is one example of a teacher-centered philosophy of education. It emphasizes understanding of great works of art, literature, history and other fields as timeless pieces of human development that everyone should understand in order to create stable, shared cultures.

Essentialism is another teacher-centered philosophy of education. It is similar to perennialism; however, it emphasizes personal development rather than necessary knowledge. Student-centered philosophies of education take a different stance. These philosophies believe that because global culture is constantly developing, no one-size-fits-all approach can effectively teach all varieties of students.

Student-centered philosophies developed as a reaction to teacher-centered education when educators began to consider learning as a cooperative process instead of an authoritarian one. Social reconstructionism, which emphasizes that learning should accompany social responsibility, is an example of student-centered teaching.

Another model is existentialism, which argues that students must be able to direct their learning if they are to develop as people of free will. Finally, progressivism is a student-centered philosophy of education that recognizes that relevance is important to learning. Classrooms and lessons should relate to students’ lives if educators hope to leave lasting effects.

Understanding the philosophies of education is essential for educators who want to monitor the further growth of the teaching field. These and other principles are important aspects of earning a Master of Science in Educational Theory and Practice. Teachers who wish to lead both in the classroom and in their districts will need a strong foundation in the principles behind contemporary education.
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What is the difference between progressivism and essentialism?

In essentialism the importance is laid is on instilling basics and fundamentals in learners. The main focus in on teaching. In progressivism the main focus is laid on learner rather than on teaching. Emphasize is laid on learning by doing.
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What is the difference between essentialism and perennialism?

Conclusion – Essentialism is an educational philosophy that strives to ensure that students acquire a common core of knowledge in a systematic, disciplined way. In contrast, perennialism is an educational philosophy that states one should teach the things that are of everlasting importance to all individuals everywhere.
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What are the benefits of essentialism?

Key Takeaways –

Essentialism is not a physical thing like minimalism. Essentialism is a state of mind. It is about focusing on what is important to you and not allowing outside noise to interfere with your focus.Essentialism allows you to take control of your day by allowing you to assess and evaluate opportunities before accepting them.Finally, essentialism helps you focus on less, and this allows you to do these things better in the long run.

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