Educational Essentialism

Educational essentialism is a theory that states that children should learn the traditional basic subjects and that these should be learned thoroughly and rigorously. An essentialist program normally teaches children progressively, from less complex skills to more complex.

An Essentialist will usually teach some set subjects similar to Reading, Writing, Literature, Foreign Languages, History, Math, Science, Art, and Music.

William Bagley (1874-1946) was an important historical Essentialist.

Essentialism is related to the cultural literacy movement, which advocates the teaching of a core set of knowledge common to (and assumed to be possessed by) members of a culture or society. See also E.D. Hirsch