Mortimer Adler Middle School/Perennialism School of Thought
By: Lisa Clark, Krista Sipayung Fizette, &Monica
MORTIMER ADLER MIDDLE
Mortimer Adler believed critical thinking and strategies that engage students
in dialogue with the great writers. “In the case of good books, the point is not
to see how many of them you can get through, but how many can get through
to you” (BrainyQuotes). Teachers are the knowledge holders, and this knowledge
should be organized and factual and should come from the great books. Adler
Middle School holds these beliefs.
The roots of Perennialism philosophy of education can be found by looking
at the greats throughout history
• St. Thomas Aquinas
• Robert Hutchins
• Mortimer Adler
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
Perennialism states that students should be educated in ideas that have
been around a long, long, time. New ideas that could be considered
culturally popular should not be taught in the classroom. They believe
education is good when students acquire understanding of
unchanging/universal principles (such as gravity). Teachers should set their
classrooms up to stimulate students minds to become critical thinkers. This
philosophy also wants schools to make sure students learn about the ideas
of Western civilization. To do this, reading great works and having
discussions about them, where the teacher is looked at as the knowledge
holder, is the main focus. When you do this, it helps develop ideas that can
add on to what we already know about universal truths.
WHAT IS PERENNIALISM?
• Equip students to become critical thinkers.
• Prepares and trains students with skills and
knowledge that enable them to contribute positively
Philosophy with an emphasis on
The Great Books of the
past (Great ideas of
Western civilization) and
adolescent fiction, and
Students Will Learn Learning is Based on
At Mortimer Adler Middle School, we know our teachers are the knowledge
holders. They are the ones directing the learning and our students have the
privilege in learning from them. We have 3 teaching strategies.
• Didactic Teaching ( Lecture)
• Socratic Method
• Coaching (Small Group)
“The Theory of Relativity” by Albert Einstein
“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“Starry Messenger” By Galileo Galilei
“The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes
“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
“Don Juan” by Lord Byron
“Tragedies” by Sophocles
“Dialogues” by Plato
“Oliver Twist” and “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens
“Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau
“Moby Dick” by Herman Melville
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
“Mathematic Principles of Natural Philosophy” by Isaac Newton
THE “GREAT” BOOKS
“Iliad” “The Odyssey” by Homer Shakespeare
“Gulliver’s Travels” – Jonathan Swift
“Experience & Education” – John Dewey
“The Beast in the Jungle” – Henry James
“Saint Joan” – George Bernard Shaw
“The Metamorphosis” – Franz Kafka
“The Wasteland” – T.S. Eliot
“A Rose for Emily” – William Faulkner
“Animal Farm” – George Orwell
“The Great Gatsby” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
THE “GREAT” BOOKS
6th ELA: Reading material
• Othello; King Lear
• Macbeth, p 198
• The Odyssey, p 1
7th Math: Reading material to support learning
• Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosopy; Preface, Definition, Book III page 161
Bible: Noah’s Ark
8th Government (Social Studies):
PLATO, The Republic, Books II-V; p. 1.
ARISTOTLE, Politics, Book I; p. 17.
• Orderly seating arrangements
• Desks arranged in rows and students (Philosophy of Education, 2006)
• Strict rules that are compiled by teacher and school
Students have NO input
• Punishment and Reward system
• Students will remain orderly in all aspects of school life
• Polo shirts of either white or navy blue with no names, logos or designs present are
acceptable in either long or short-sleeved. Polo shirts with school name or logo on it may
• Button down dress shirts of either white or navy blue, either long or short-sleeved.
Stripes, logos, or designs, are not acceptable, unless it is the school name or logo.
Sweaters or Vests
• Sweaters of both white or navy blue that are void of stripes, logos, or designs are
acceptable, either cable knit or fleece. Pullovers or button-up cardigans are acceptable.
• Khaki or navy blue pants are acceptable, and they are not to have cargo pockets,
Sweatpants and running style pants are not allowed.
• Plain sneakers or shoes are allowed.
• Polo shirts of either white or navy blue with no names, logos or designs present are acceptable in either
long or short-sleeved. Polo shirts with school name or logo on it may be purchased.
Dress shirt or Blouse
• Button down dress shirts or blouses of either white or navy blue, either long or short-sleeved. Stripes,
logos, or designs, are not acceptable, unless it is the school name or logo.
Sweaters or Vests
• Sweaters of both white or navy blue that are void of stripes, logos, or designs are acceptable, either cable
knit or fleece. Pullovers or button-up cardigans are acceptable.
Skirts, skorts, or jumpers
• These may be in the colors of khaki or navy blue with no stripes, designs or logos. They must not be
shorter than knee length, and cannot be more than 2 inches below the knee.
• Khaki or navy blue pants are acceptable. Capri pants of the same colors may only be worn during the
designated months. Neither are to have cargo pockets. Leggings, sweats and running pants are not
acceptable forms of dress.
• Plain sneakers or shoes are allowed. No heels or tall boots.
Operational Costs $50,000
School Improvement $7,000
Instructional Material Flex $60,000
(Funds for necessary instructional materials to be used as the principal so decides.)
School Technology $25,000
Custodial Supplies $9,000
Total School Budget = $5,571,500
A great deal is spent on library/media to ensure that the great books are
accessible to all students
Tuition (per year):
1 child - $4,200
2 children - $5,100
3 children - $5,000
Each additional child - $1200
School occupancy – 600 students
COST OF ATTENDANCE
BrainyQuote. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Philosophy of education. (2006, April 26). McGraw Hill. Retrieved from