Existentialism as a Teaching Philosophy in Life

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There are four teaching philosophies: Perennialism, Essentialism, Progressivism, Social Reconstructionism, and Existentialism. But today, I am only taking a look at one of them: Existentialism, Existentialism is when the learner is encouraged to discover the best method for him/herself and it focuses on individual preference, psychology and human relations, students learning to examine him/herself, and it is when they reject authority. I personally believe all of that for existentialism, except when it comes to rejecting authority. I believe that students should have the right to find what works for them, but they should do it in a way where they are respecting authority.

When I was in middle/high school, my teachers believed in respecting the authority when they respected you, figuring out what worked best for you, and not overbearing you with so much homework. Since it was such a small school, the teachers really focused on one on one teaching. If a student was struggling, they would go to them and work with them to find what worked best for them. They believed in the student finding their own way with the least amount of help as possible. As a teacher, I would be teaching high school level. So a student is starting on their journey of becoming an adult and going their own way in life. Using the philosophy of existentialism, I will guide them, like my teachers did, to make their own decision about their own lives. I will focus on their mental health more than their grades. As an existentialist, I am devoted to the student and to making them feel like they don’t have to be rushed to figure out who they are.

There are also four main learning theories: Constructivists, behavioralist, humanist, and cognitive. And like the philosophies, I am only looking at one learning theory: The Cognitive learning theory. Cognitive learning is when the student acquires, organizes, and retrieves information by themselves. Like the existentialism philosophy, it requires people to do things on their own. It requires the teacher to take a step back and let the student take over. When I see the cognitive learning theory, I see the student wanting to do things on their own. I see the teacher teaching the student how to be a grown up and how to do things on their own.

When I was in high school, my teachers used the cognitive theory as a way to teach us what it meant to do things on our own. They gave us projects and ideas and resources to go out and search for the things ourselves. They wanted to let us know that it was possible to be an adult before graduating from high school. They wanted us to have that mindset that we could do the things ourselves. The cognitive learning theory gives us that mindset. That’s why my teachers always taught us to be independent and to learn how to do things on our own.

When I become a teacher, I want to teach my students to be their own person. I want students to want to learn how to be an independent person before they leave high school. With the cognitive theory, I can teach my students how gather information, where to gather information, and who to go to when it comes to gathering information. And as the students, it would be their job to go and use what I have taught them.

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Existentialism as a Teaching Philosophy in Life. (2023, May 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/existentialism-as-a-teaching-philosophy-in-life/

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