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Modern and Traditional Nursing Educational Frameworks

The worksheet presented below is targeted as describing two educational frameworks of perennials and positivism. Its analysis will be beneficial for understanding the key principles as well as the way in which both frameworks are used in education and can be used in the nursing curriculum.

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Perennialism – A Traditional Educational Framework Positivism – A Modern Educational Framework
Background and meaning Defined as a belief that “certain universal truths or ideas exist at all times and that the level of existence that man attains is determined by his attention or inattention, to these eternal principles” (Jent, 2003, p. 3).
Perennialism is often regarded as an ideal philosophical theory that captures the entire framework of human reason, as it is the philosophy that can be applied to any kind of education and any kind of school. Therefore, perennials are a traditional educational framework that is everlasting and ever-growing (Dible, 2010, p. 175).
Philosophical framework, which states that the attained knowledge comes from the natural phenomena and the relations that exist within such phenomena. Contrary to the naturalistic frameworks, positivism states that reality is external from people, and that information should be assessed analytically and mathematically (Uzun, 2011, p. 338).
Founders This philosophical system dates back to Aristotle and Plato while the modern proponents of this view are Adler, Hutchins, and Maritain. Positivism was largely advocated by Karl Popper (post-positivism) and Francis Bacon (inductive reasoning). The term positivism itself was created by the French philosopher and founder of positivism, Auguste Comte, whose view created a ground for positivism, a framework suggesting that any kind of genuine knowledge is attained from sensory experiences that can only be improved through experiments or observations (Mack, 2010, p. 6).
How is currently used Perennialism implies the same kind of education for everyone since it has direct connections to the Paidea Proposal established by Adler. He stated that all children can learn, that learning and education are processes that last the entire life, and that learning is accomplished through the effective interactions between a student and a teacher.
Nowadays perennialism is used as a primary framework for teaching since education is targeted at giving knowledge to all children.
According to the article by Johnson & Onwuegbuzie (2004), positivism relates to either confirmation or falsification of the phenomena and that such procedures are usually implemented in an objective manner (p. 15). Therefore, positivism is applied in modern education in terms of studying social phenomena that can be experienced and evaluated through logical thinking.
How each can be used in the nursing curriculum It can be applied in nursing the same way as in all institutions, establishing guiding principles for the effective education of nursing students regardless of their capabilities. In nursing, positivism can be used in teaching the benefits of social observations that are to be regarded as separate entities similar to the ways physicists interpret the phenomena of the physical sphere.
Why the student would choose this framework This philosophy can be chosen due to its universal nature and the opposition towards limits and differentiation since education should not be something that is limited to specific rules. Education and learning are ongoing processes that require interactions and sharing of knowledge. This educational framework can be chosen for its objectivism and preciseness since such characteristics can be easily applied in studying and investigating real-life phenomena.
How they can be utilized in the workplace Used to establish a unified approach to all participants of the workplace that requires the same treatment for everybody. Used to observe phenomena related to any workplace situations and then used for logical analysis.

To conclude, perennials and positivism are frameworks different not only in their definitions but in the nature of their application. While perennials is a general approach that implies equal treatment for all participants of the educational process, positivism is specifically targeted at promoting logical thinking and sensory experiences when it comes to education.


Dible, R. (2010). The philosophy of mysticism: Perennialism and constructivism. Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, 1(2), 173-183.

Jent, G. (2003). Perennialism. Torch Trinity Journal, 6, 3-21.

Johnson, B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.

Mack, L. (2010). The philosophical underpinnings of educational research. Polyglossia, 19, 5-11.

Uzun, U. (2011) What is your educational philosophy? Modern and postmodern approaches to foreign language education. SSLLT, 2(3), 333-348.

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