What Is the Goal of Education According to Existentialism?


Vincent White

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice. It has influenced various fields, including education.

According to existentialism, the goal of education is to help individuals find meaning and purpose in their lives by developing their unique potential and cultivating their creativity. In this article, we will explore the main ideas of existentialism in education.

Individuality and Authenticity

Existentialism views each person as an individual with unique experiences, beliefs, and values. Therefore, education should not aim to impose a preconceived idea of what a person should be or do. Instead, it should foster individuality and authenticity by encouraging students to explore their interests, question assumptions, and challenge authority.


Freedom is a core principle of existentialism. Education should provide students with opportunities to exercise their freedom by making choices that reflect their personal values and goals. This means that teachers should not dictate what students learn or how they learn it but rather guide them in the process of self-discovery.


With freedom comes responsibility. Existentialism emphasizes that individuals are responsible for their own lives and actions. Thus, education should help students develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and others by teaching them to make ethical choices based on personal values and social norms.

Emphasis on Experience

Existentialism places great importance on experience as the foundation for learning. Education should be experiential in nature: it should enable students to engage directly with the world around them through hands-on activities such as experiments or projects.


In conclusion, according to existentialism, education is about helping individuals find meaning and purpose in life by developing their unique potential through freedom of choice and responsibility for one’s actions. It emphasizes individuality and authenticity while valuing experiential learning. By embracing these ideas, educators can foster students’ creativity and self-discovery, leading to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.