Existentialism & Curriculum

Existentialism is a post-WWII philosophy that has had influence in curriculum. This philosophy’s tenets include people choices define who they are. For example, I am choose to teach this makes me a teacher. Other tenets of this philosophy is individualism, freedom of choice, and personal fulfillment. Choice is what often leads to self-fulfillment.  Lastly, there is a somewhat strong anti-authority streak in existentialism in which proponents of this philosophy are against group conformity as they are seen as stripping people of choice.

In education, existentialism can be seen in curriculum’s that emphasize study choice in what they study. The arts are a strong component as well as other forms of the humanities. Self-expression is also important and experiences that contribute to individual choice are highly valued.

There are many supports of this philosophy. Among them includes Maxine Greene, George Kneller, and Van Cleve Morris. Interestingly, this philosophy is unpopular with traditional educators because it is sometimes seen anti-group and establishment beliefs.

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