7 Main Impacts of “Existentialism” on “Education”

Main impacts of existentialism on education are given below:

1. An existentialist wants the full development of the individuality of the individual. He does not like one-sided development

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2. An existentialist does not give too much importance to objective knowledge in the curriculum. This means that he dislikes over-importance given to science and mathematics, etc. At places he opposes them also. However, he does not regard them as useless. Jaspers wants to make objective knowledge as the basis of subjective knowledge.

3. An existentialist philosopher can realize the “self’ by being in the world itself. He gives importance to the environment of man. The environment of the external world is the main means for an-individual’s education.

By living in this environment he has to understand his ‘self and to effect its full development. Therefore, in any scheme of education due attention must be given on the environment of the individual. Only those subjects should be taught which may help the full development of personality and life the ‘self’ in order to can it up to the ultimate existence.


4. The existentialist gives preference to subjectivity in place of objectivity. Therefore the system of education should be such as to make the individual subjective and introvert in place of objective and extrovert. Only then an individual will be able to recognize his “self’.

5. Existentialism is not metaphysics. Therefore it does not take within its purview the analysis of the truth of this world, its eternalness and its reality. In fact, it is only a doctrine to help one to realize his ‘self’.

It is a way of thinking which wants to convert objectivity into subjectivity. It gives all importance to individuality and wants to develop it to the fullest extent. There can be no substitute to individuality. As already said earlier, according to existentialism our educational system should promote the full development of personality and help one to realize his ‘self’.

6. An existentialist opposes that scientific and technological way of thinking which places any obstruction in the experience of the self. He cannot tolerate the repression of one’s individuality. The modern man is full of tension.


He was not so a few hundred years ago. Due to objectivity of the modern times, the subjectivity of the individual is lying repressed. To­day a man wants to understand a situation in relation to others, but he does want to understand the same in his own relationship. This is the main cause of his downfall.

7. The modern man is so much involved in material conflicts that it is difficult for him to come out of them. The liberal education has been completely changed into vocational education. Existentialism is not against vocational education.

But according to an existentialist the purpose of vocational education should be to enable man to earn a living but not to lose the identity of his ‘self’. In fact, vocational education should make one free from worries regarding necessities of life and should ultimately lead him towards realizing his ‘self’.


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