Perennialism is an education philosophy that focuses on the enduring themes and ideas of Western Civilization art, history, and the "Great Books" - works of literature that have been deemed relevant to the foundation of Western culture. This philosophy maintains that the ideas found in the Great Books and works like them should be the focus of the curriculum.

Perennialism is a teacher-centered philosophy, in which it is the responsibility of the instructor to ensure that students gain cultural literacy and learn about the greatest achievements in a given field. Perennialists believe that this can be achieved by instructors guiding students in debate and evaluating their knowledge through testing.


Major Players

Allan Bloom

Robert Maynard Hutchins

Mortimer Adler


Roll over the image to read about an example of perennialism.


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