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Existentialism in today’s classroom

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  1. Method.
  2. Definitions.
  3. Biography.
  4. Literary review.
  5. Dr. Morris's ideas on existentialism.
  6. Relative similarities.
  7. Practical applications of existentialism.

This paper looks at Dr. Van Cleve Morris's ideas on existentialism in order to see whether existentialism can be used effectively in today's classroom. Dr. Morris's idea of existentialism is one of responsible individualism. One is responsible for their choices and therefore, makes responsible choices in order to better oneself. This research will show a possible approach to teaching using existentialism. It will do this in a way that is effective relative to a diverse student population. Furthermore, keeping in mind that schools are social institutions, this study will explore the idea of individualism in the classroom and its transference outside the school, as a medium that should generate the creation of a more positive social setting.

[...] I believe that the ideas of existentialism can be used in today's classrooms and function in the social setting in which all schools are defined. With the diversity of cultures that can be found in today's classrooms, existential ideas can be a great tool for a teacher in creating an environment in which individual creative thinking and culturally diverse students can learn without assimilation or the stereo typing of any student because of race, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic status, exceptionality, language or any other aspect of a person that makes them different. [...]

[...] However, before these texts can be examined any further, one must determine what is at the foundation of existentialism in order to fully understand Dr. Morris's view points. Foundation of Existentialism The first existentialist, Soren Kierkegaard, held that humans are ?existing individuals? with no connection to anything in the world. Existentialists hold that a human has no predefined purpose or essence and is up to each individual to decide, for themselves, who and what they are to become by the actions they choose to make. [...]

[...] The thing we know about existentialism is existence is before essence. Therefore, choose therefore I and humans have ultimate freedom in their choices, according to Dr. Morris (1969, p. 362). His view of existential ontology is a human's reality is constantly changing with experience. In order to define who or what one is through experiences, a person must redefine himself and transcend to that person by redefining their reality. This is done by criticizing and correcting their thinking, their facility for contemplation, and their feelings, or being self conscious and doing one's self over, again and again (Morris, 1969). [...]

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