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Kory Jones

on 31 October 2012

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Transcript of Perennialism

Caytlyn, Lara, Kory, and Erin Perennialism A philosophical position based on the humanities and the great books (e.g., Shakespeare). This school of thought relies on absolute truths (e.g., honesty and truth) more than the physical world. The bases for the perennialist views stem from Thomas Aquinas (1222-1274), who emphasized the rational abilities of humans along with faith as the tools to obtain knowledge. A structured disciplined approach is taken with the study of mathematics, the great books, languages, religious doctrines, etc. as important in disciplining the mind. Emphases are placed on reasoning about moral principles and learning exercises Pros and Cons What is perennialism? Perennialism could be a good thing in the classroom. The teachers are very traditional and will always challenge the students to use critical thinking to solve problems in and outside of class. They prefer teaching math, reading, and sciences and believe that knowledge should be everlasting. They aren’t big on technology which could be a problem since technology keeps improving and more schools are starting to use them. The Advantages -Develops good discipline for their students
-Believe that knowledge should be everlasting
-Students become problem solvers
-They teach from the great books
-Emphasis is on the humanities (Math, Reading, and Science Etc). The Disadvantages -They are conservative
-Are not very flexible
-Philosophy disregards technology
-Structured lessons and drills Perennialism as it Applies to Teaching -Teachers are in-charge of accomplishing classroom goals.
-They aren't concerned with students' interests or experiences when they are creating curriculum.
-They use teaching methods that are known to work as the most beneficial to the students.
-The perennialist curriculum is based on the idea that all human beings possess the same basic knowledge, and they think it is important to teach students to think deeply, analytically, flexibly, and imaginatively, and the information is not outdated or wrong.
-Perennialists think information should not be massive, in size, and disconnected, rather the teachers should teach concepts and explain how they are connected and why they are important. More Application -Perennialists reccomend teachers teach from the "Great Books", which are the classics.
-Perennialists believe students can learn from historical figures, such as Washington and Lincoln.
-Teachers will focus on reading, and it's importance, and use lessons in reading to make a moral point.
-Perennialist teachers want their students to be excellent leaders one day, just like the leaders they teach about. Some More Application -The aim of education is to ensure students understand the big ideas in Western Civilization.
-Teachers need to teach ideas that are everlasting, truths that apply in the past, present, and future.
-Humans are rational beings, and young minds need to be developed. Therefore, developing intellect is most important.
-The highest accomplishments in literature, art, science, etc. are focused on in the curriculum. History of Perenialism The perennialist traces the foundation of his philosophy back to Plato and Aristotle together with the revised understanding of their ideas as interpreted by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. In the modern era, the primary spokesmen are Jacques Maritain, Mortimer Adler, and Robert Hutchins. These writers appeal to the fundamental beliefs held in the time of Aquinas, who subscribed to the fundamental beliefs held by Aristotle, who together with Plato subscribed to the fundamental beliefs held during the Golden Age of Greece.
Although the perennial philosophy did not die out—thanks to the Roman Catholic Church—it did slowly lose its influence. During the last century, it declined rapidly because of the industrial revolution. Around the turn of the century, a new philosophy was formulated and gained widespread acceptance. That philosophy was progressivism.
In response to the disintegration of society because of the Great Depression, the traditionalists, as Adler calls the perennialists, suddenly revived for a comeback sometime around 1930. Because of the traditionalist appeal for a return to the fundamental beliefs of a pre-scientific and pre- industrial age, the modernists fought back vigorously.
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