Tue. May 17th, 2022

If you’ve read the first segment to this overview, you’ve made yourself familiar with Essentialism. Now, let’s complete a basic understanding by examining three more – Progressivism, Existentialism and Perennialism.

A Progressivism philosophy concentrates on making education apply to the student and society. It focuses on making education practical and more relevant to the needs and interests of students. Progressivist programs would have the curriculum designed to focus around the abilities, experiences, and interests of the student. A progressive education finds its roots in the “experience”, and may consist of “hands-on” learning. An instructor that teaches with this philosophy might emphasize that making skills and knowledge meaningful to the student would be the key to a favorable education.




Existentialism derives from a thought process that is centered on an individual discovering meaning for his life. Its origin comes from a clear resistance to a traditional, essentialist methodology of education. This philosophy rejects the idea of authoritative truth, and holds individuals responsible for deciding what is right or wrong, or what is true or false. There is no universal standard of human nature, as the individual has free will to discover or develop as he or she deems fit. The Existentialist teacher might lead the student to seek to find his purpose in life, or his own personal meaning as his key component to a quality education.

Perennialism is an educational philosophy that has its appeal geared towards “ideas”. This educational philosophy is firm in the concept that ideas standing the test of time, some even centuries old, are just as relevant today as when they were first established. A Perennialist education would consist of studying the historically great authors, thinkers, and writings. Think Plato, Aristotle, etc. included within the homeschool curriculum. The Perennialist instructor might lead his students to seek “understanding” as the key element for obtaining a proper education.

By rahul