***5 basic ideas based upon the precept that man and his existence are virtually permanent therefore the teaching style should not change***


General Principles:

(1) Permanence is more real than change.
(2) Human nature remains essentially the same no matter the culture
(3) The good life -- the life that is fit for man/woman  to live -- remains essentially the same.
(4) Moral principles remain essentially the same.
(5) Hence, the education that men receive should remain essentially the same.


Applications to teaching-

1- education should be the same for everyone

2-because man is basically the same, there is no need to sway material to the lowest student

            Bottom -> middle -> top

3-because men are free and determine their own actions, children must be challenged and educators must expect reason from them

4-"Education implies teaching. Teaching implies knowledge. Knowledge is truth. The truth everywhere is the same. Hence, education should be everywhere the same." (Hutchins)

            * truth is not relative but absolute

5-The school should not function as a political or social arm of society. The school has one purpose and that is to make life-long learners that produce social and political change.

6-Education is not the only aspect of life- it is the tool in which one prepares for life

7-Basic subjects should and must be taught. Using 3R’s to become more rational citizens

8-Great emphasis to be placed upon the great classics- literature, history, philosophy, and science

            *because these works do not change therefore despite the condition or situation, the truth is eternal*


Role of Teacher-                                                      

Socratic Method

Lifelong learner

Continually pursuing truth

Emphasis in classics





Role of Student-

Passive Listener

Active Thinker/Learner


Teaching Tools-


Standardized Tests

Spelling Bees

Teacher-made Tests


Teaching time-honored classics

            *Plato, Geography, Bookkeeping

“Paper-Pencil Test”


Classroom Management-

Orderly rows

Neat/clean room


-strict but not without mercy or grace

-punishment and rewards



Goal of Student-

Lifelong learner

Use rational thinking

Organize and collect thoughts

Make comparisons


Role of Gifted Child-

Not just mastery

Allowed to continue education and not placed on vocational track



Basic concepts in realism and some concepts in idealism

            -Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas

Modern Exponents:

Robert Maynard Hutchins -- Professor and Dean, Yale Law School
Mortimer J. Adler -- Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University
            Beginning in 1929, the two men collaborated at the University of Chicago, where       Hutchins had become president, to develop and disseminate the philosophy among            educators.
Stringfellow Barr, President of St. John's College, implemented the philosophy most thoroughly in the College which he headed.


Straight from the Horse’s Mouth!


“This is a very conservative and inflexible philosophy of education. It is based on the view that reality comes from fundamental fixed truths-especially related to God. It believes that people find truth through reasoning and revelation and that goodness is found in rational thinking. As a result, schools exist to teach reason and God’s will. Students are taught to reason through structured lessons and drills.”

                                                                        -Ron Kurtus



“Belief that knowing the classics of the past will equip students for the future”
                                                                        -Syd Womack



“A contemporary curriculum that disregards the classics does students and society a disservice.”

                                                                        -McNergney & Herbert (144)

                                    Foundations of Education: The Challenge of Professional Practice 3rd e.




*Contemporary thought changes and thus does not grant students a better understanding of unchanging Truth*