Education Philosophy Inventory RESULTS
EPI Score Sheet: Below, the numbers you circled for each statement (1-36) recorded and totalled under appropriate perspective. The highest total indicates your educational philosophy.


Essentialism was a response to progressivism. It advocates a conservative philosophic perspective. The emphasis is on intellectual and moral standards that should be transmitted by schools. The core of the curriculum should be essential knowledge and skills. Schooling should be practical and not influence social policy. It is a 'back to basics' movement, which emphasizes facts. Students should be taught discipline, hard work, and respect for authority. Influential essentialists: William Bagley, H.G. Rickover, Arthur Bestor, William Bennett; E.D. Hirsch's Cultural Literacy could fit this category.

Total: 0 (Sum of Questions: 1, 7, 13, 19, 25, 31)


Behaviorists deny free will and maintain that behavior is the result of external forces, which cause humans to behave in predictable ways. Behaviorism is linked with empiricism, which stresses scientific experiment and observation. Behaviorists are skeptical about metaphysical claims. Behaviorists look for laws governing human behavior the way natural scientists look for empirical laws governing natural events. The role of the teacher is to identify behavioral goals and establish a reward system to achieve goals. Influential behaviorists: B.F. Skinner, Ivan Pavlov, J.B. Watson, Benjamin Bloom.

Total: 0 (Sum of Questions: 2, 8, 14, 20, 26, 32)


Progressivism focuses more on the child than the subject matter. The students' interests and personal growth are important. Learners should be active and learn to solve problems by reflecting upon their experience. The school should help students develop democratic personal and social values. Because society is always changing, new ideas are important to make the future better than the past. Influential progressives: John Dewey, William Kilpatrick, Francis Parker.

Total: 0 (Sum of Questions: 3, 9, 15, 21, 27, 33)


Existentialism is a highly subjective philosophy that stresses the importance of the individual and emotional commitment to living authentically. It emphasizes individual choice over the importance of rational theories, history, and social institutions. Jean Paul Sartre, the French philosopher, claimed 'Existence precedes essence.' Sartre meant that people are born and must define themselves through personal choices. Influential existentialists: Jean Paul Sartre, Soren Kierkegaard, Martin Buber, Martin Heidegger, Gabriel Marcel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus, Carl Rogers, A.S. Neill, and Maxine Greene.

Total: 0 (Sum of Questions: 4, 10, 16, 22, 28, 34)


Perennialists advocate that the aim of education is to ensure that students acquire knowledge about the great ideas of Western culture. Human beings are rational, and it is this capacity that needs to be developed. Cultivation of the intellect is the highest priority of an education worth having. The highest level of knowledge in each field should be the focus of curriculum. Influential perennialists are: Robert Maynard Hutchins, Mortimer Adler, Allan Bloom.

Total: 0 (Sum of Questions: 5, 11, 17, 23, 29, 35)


Reconstructionists advocate that schools should take the lead to reconstruct society. Schools have more than a responsibility to transmit knowledge they have the mission to transform society as well. Reconstructionists go beyond progressivists in advocating social activism. Influential reconstructionists: Theodore Brameld, George Counts, Paulo Friere, Henry Giroux.

Total: 0 (Sum of Questions: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36)


Your responses to the Inventory probably favor several philosophic perspectives. Look at your highest and lowest scores. The high scores indicate those perspectives most consistent with your views about teaching, learning, curriculum and governance: the four commonplaces of educating. For example, in question 1, if you believe the curriculum should emphasize �a set fixed body of knowledge,� you probably scored high in essentialism. If you believe curriculum should emphasize �students� personal interests,� you probably scored high in progressivism.