Progressivism is a philosophical perspective that emphasizes the importance of allowing students to learn from their own experience. Progressivists view knowledge and education as progressive constructs. Every day new knowledge is created and it is therefore important to teach students how to be analytical. Students must develop critical thinking skills in order to engage the world that surrounds them and extract knowledge progressively and of their own accord.
Essentialism is a philosophical perspective that stresses the importance of teaching students basic subjects in a rigorous manner. Essentialists believe that everything that exists has a fixed set of essential traits. If those essential traits are studied, nothing more is needed. The same applies to education. As long as the essential subjects are tought, the students will have sufficient knowledge to live their lifes without major complications.
Perennialism is a philosophical perspective that focuses on teaching students what is universally and eternally pertinent to a person’s life and integral development. Perennialists believe that facts are not everlasting. Due to this, they advocate in teaching students principles instead of facts. Furthermore, teaching focuses on humans (as humans are believed to be most important) and resorts to techniques that promote scientific reasoning.
I personally relate myself most closely with the Progressive perspective. I believe that it is important for people to learn how to think for themselves, to critically analyze the world that lies before them and extract whatever knowledge they can from it. As well, I believe that knowledge is always being created, so it is not enough simply to learn about a few essential facts (Essentialist perspective). Finally, I distance myself from the Perennialist perspective because even though there are things that are eternally and universally important, facts are also important. In order to fully develop, it is also important for people to know about the universe that surrounds them.