The Role Of Philosophy Of Existentialism In Schools

“Philosophical existentialism has sought to understand the nature of human existence and the possible meaning(s) that might be made thereof”. This is realising that humans exist first, and they spend the rest of their lives trying to change or better their essences that makes them human. When one looks at the meaning of life, they often question their reason for existence. One can argue that currently, many pupils at schools do not question their existence and that they are merely just living life through technology. That they do not want to examine their existence. Pupils in schools and out of schools are so infatuated with technology and they do not even realise it.

Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives in many different aspects, such as businesses and schools. It has become an especially large part of the education system in both positive and negative ways. If we look at the education system in rural areas, technology opens many opportunities such as more subject fields for pupils to choose from. It also allows others that are unable to attend school, to take online classes. However, due to the rural areas being very poor, there is not many available places to set up technology because they do not have electricity and it can become quite expensive to buy the data needed to use the internet. In the urban areas, we can see the impact that it has. Many schools use computers and other technology such as tablets. This is a positive thing in that some learners who are unable to attend school, can still catch up the work online.

When one thinks of technology, they only see the positives that it brings. Many do not think of the negative impact that technology has on people, especially the younger generations in schools. Every other day we see pupils that are fighting amongst themselves, we see pupils fighting with their teachers and even physically injuring their teachers and their peers. But no one stops to ask why? Technology is one of the reasons why. Technology is easily accessible and almost all pupils have access, either through phones, computers, tablets and even gaming. Pupils therefore have easier access to view violence, whether it is through gaming or movies. Pupils are so used to seeing the violence every day on their technological devices, that it is destroying the innocence that they once had. It is dehumanising them to such an extent that they start to crave the violence during school, so they start creating it for themselves. According to Noor (2017) “Video games are perhaps the most notorious culprits in this case, and scores of critics have written about how many games continue to glorify violence, machismo and misogyny on a daily basis. ” When we see the pupils fighting, often it is recorded on cell phone devices and we do not see anyone trying to intervene in these videos.

By using existentialism, pupils need to redetermine what their values are, they need to figure out what their identity is, and who they are. Teachers can help to do this by creating pathways for the pupils to discover what their values are. They need to become aware of the fact they are free to make their own identity and values and what their options are. If pupils do this, they will come to realise that violence is not a healthy way of life. It is not helping them to grow into the people they are meant to be. Teachers should use the philosophy of existentialism as well to ensure that they are teaching ethically and that they do not cross any boundaries themselves. In order to understand the pupils, the teacher needs to understand themselves first. They need to know that if they want to instil peace onto the pupils, they themselves should be peaceful and ethical.

10 October 2020
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