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essentialism

in education  the belief that certain traditional concepts ideals and skills are essential to society and should be taught to all. It does not hold that all that is taught should only be of this nature (see perennialism) but that there is a core which should be passed from generation to generation via the school system. In philosophy it is a term dating from the work of Aristotle for a wide range of positions which hold that people objects or phenomena do have innate real characteristics or properties and that these are not simply social ideological or intellectual constructs.