Meaning of essentialism

es•sen•tial•ism

Pronunciation: (u-sen'shu-liz"um), [key]
— n. Educ.
  1. a doctrine that certain traditional concepts, ideals, and skills are essential to society and should be taught methodically to all students, regardless of individual ability, need, etc. Cf. progressivism.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.