Perennialism: Everything You Need to Know

This is a philosophy in education that emphasizes the importance and relevance of specific works that are believed to be evergreen, transcending the wear and tear of time. Perennial works are works that are considered valuable to the present generation despite being from a different time completely. Some examples of perennial work include the bulk of Shakespeare’s bibliography, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, etc. 

Perennialist education prioritizes ideas of value from the past as they often represent or reflect the strong values and ideals that cement society. They are also usually culturally significant and represent a standard of mastery or scholarship that is generally considered to be the best.

Perennialists heavily emphasize the importance of mastery and critical thinking skills. The ability to look beyond the shallow interpretations of a text, and discover everything valuable about it is key to creating students who perform at a high level. Perennial work helps to break the glass ceilings of thinking and expression and helps foster breakthroughs in academics and career.

Perennialism is similar to essentialism except that it scours through time to find the most valuable materials and information in order to provide the best standard of education for students in the present day. 

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