The Importance Of Essentialism In Education

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What do I teach? How do I teach? These are seemingly very simple questions but an average teacher like me find them very difficult to answer. The pondering of these two questions led me to different roads which later, in my musing, I find difficult to converge. All the curriculum has are the goals and competencies and the teachers still chooses which content and performance standards to prioritize and how these targets are met and a teacher’s philosophy plays a critical role in this decision-making.
Moss and Lee (2010) says that the philosophy which a teacher believe has a significant effect on how they view and implement educational standards. .Uyangör, ŞAHAN, Atici and Börekc (2016) further asserts that Teachers’ educational philosophy
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Essentialism is an educational philosophy that pushes for the traditional or the back-to-basics approach to teaching. This philosophy which was popularized by William Bagley (1874-1946) presses on that the mastery of the most essential and basic academic skills such as Mathematics, Natural Science, History and Foreign Language, making sure that all these, together with very essential traditional and moral values of the culture is transmitted to students for them to become good model citizens (Sadker and Sadker, 2008) who will safeguard and preserve the ideal qualities of a strong nation. In an Essentialist classroom, the teacher, who is seen the intellectual and moral role-model, is the center of the instruction while the students who are taught to be culturally literate, are required to master the subject matter and/or the simple techniques taught from a simple to complex orientation with little or no regard to the student’s interest or choice (Link,…show more content…
The study affirmed that basic education in the country must undergo reforms to meet the demands of the twenty-first century. (SEAMEO INNOTECH 2012, p. 7)
Until the introduction of the K to 12, from the time of the time Spaniards down to the time of the Americans and even during the Liberation Period, the emphasis of the Philippine Education System is reading, writing and arithmetic (Musa and Ziatdinov, 2012), an Essentialism-based system, which has very little consideration on the context by which learning operate. Therefore, the teachers on the field right now who are trained Essentialists for years have to now adopt the philosophical framework of the Philippine K to 12 which is an concoction of pragmatism (reconstructionism and progressivism) and existentialism (humanism and constructivism) Johnson (2005) in Inocian