Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself -Jean Paul Sartre
Existentialism believes that humans don’t have any pre-ordained purpose. Therefore, each person is liberal to choose how we wish to measure our life, and what our life’s purpose shall be (Duignan, 2011; Guignon; Lawless)
In the education perspective, existentialist believes that the majority philosophies of the past have asked out people to think deeply about thoughts and abstractions that had little or no relationship to existence. Scholastic philosophy, during which thinkers debated such questions as how many angels could sit on ahead of a pin. The answers to such metaphysical question provided nothing except perhaps some psychological satisfaction at winning a debate through argumentation.
Existentialists believe that in their philosophy, the individual is drawn in as a participant, ready to be filled with knowledge supported his ideas. Sartre believes that “existence precedes essence” he added that if people have created ideas and practices that are harmful, then they might also create ideas and practices that are beneficial. The existentialist pose that a person is usually in transition, in order that the instant people believe they know themselves is perhaps the instant to start the examination everywhere again. They also believe that honest education emphasizes individuality. It attempts to help each people is seeing ourselves with our fears, frustrations, and hope.
For educators, existentialist want to change in attitude about education, rather than seeing it as something a learner is stuffed with, measures against or fitted into, they suggest that learners first be looked as individuals and that they are allowed to require a positive role within the shaping of their education and life. For the existentialist, no two children are alike. They differ in background, personality traits, interests, and desires they need to be acquired. Also, they wanted to determine an end to the manipulation of the learners with teachers controlling learners along the predetermined behavioural path.
Existential theories are widely used in education. According to existentialists, a good education emphasizes individuality. the primary step in any education then is to grasp ourselves. Making existential methods within the classroom requires a balance during which both teachers and learners as human beings preserve their identity. Sarte believed that “Existence precedes essence” because the individual human is very important as the creator of ideas. Hence, here are some aims of education during this philosophy, to wit:
i. Fostering Unique Qualities and Cultivating Individualities. Existentialists believe that each individual is unique and education must cater to the individual differences. Therefore, the objective of education is to enable every individual to develop his unique qualities, to harness his potentialities and cultivate his individualities.
ii. Development of Complete Man. Existentialists want that education helps a person to be a whole man in his natural environment. For the event of complete man, freedom is that the essential requirement. Freedom is given to a person with a view to realizing his self and understanding his “being”
iii. Becoming of a personality’s Person. in keeping with existentialists, one among the foremost important aims of education is the becoming of a personality’s person mutually who lives and make decisions about what the learners will do and be. ‘Knowing’ in the sense of knowing oneself, social relationships and biological relationships development are all parts of this becoming.
iv. Making Better Choices. As choice determines perfectibility and happiness, education should train, man to create better choices. As such, the aim of education is to enable man to thrash out better choices in one’s life.
v. Leading a Good life. The good life, according to existentialists, is authentic life which is possible when a person starts realizing his individuality and makes his/her own independent choices. Therefore, education aims at teaching him to guide an honest life with its noble obligations a summit.
vi. Fostering of Values. in keeping with existentialist, the aim of education should be developing a scale of supreme values in line with his freedom. The learners must develop a commitment to those values and act for them.
vii. Students have to accept responsibility for themselves irrespective of their circumstances. Many children will come to high school with many disadvantages and disabilities, including Poverty; Physical disability; Mental disability; Social difficulties; And so on. Nonetheless, an existentialist would let a baby know that they always can overcome adversity through the alternatives they create. This is often an empowering message!
It shows students that they must have a growth mindset. rather than saying “I can’t” they’ll say “I can – and these choices will move me toward my goals”. A good idea is to present students with case studies of individuals who overcame adversity by choosing to make an effort and work hard
In this philosophy, the role of a tutor is to initiate the act of education and influences the lives of his learners throughout his own life. The teacher is extremely active and welcomes challenges to his ideas from the learners. As Kneller quoted “ If there’s anything that the existentialist teacher can do for his learners, it’s to bring them to a more appraisal and understanding of the meaning and purpose of existence, so with time men may become quite a mere repetitive creature perpetuating the bestial habits of his similar ancestors”