Existentialism in Education

Existentialism, for me, is an individualistic philosophy, It veers away from conformity, from the might of the many.  It allows self-introspection into one’s beliefs and choices.  I think I am employing this approach to my pupils, especially when I am asking them to decide on how to go about their inattentiveness to our lessons. Or if a pupil doesn’t participate in an activity, I would engage him/her to an open-minded discussion on how he/she learns best from me and from her and from her other subject teachers. This way, he/she becomes open with me about his/her preferred way to learn (take for instance, one of my pupils doesn’t finish the writing task in a day and she has very bad handwriting and easily gets distracted…she doesn’t linger in her task. She even finds way to talk to others…so with this dialog I have with her helps me too to know her preferences…though my patience is sometimes drying up – 

I don’t want to what to do with her. (No labeling please!)

…Wait! What happens after our dialog? This particular girl goes back to her note taking… until the bell rings signalling the end of classes.

I think we should concentrate both on personal growth and on society. I believe in learning about society and our place in it so that we can change what needs improvement for the sake of progress and the individual. The individual can help change society by first becoming good and learning about moral behavior. Respect and tolerance is the first step in that direction. A teacher’s caring and nurturing attitude will aid students as they learn to respect and tolerate each other.


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