Existential Education does not regard human beings as the result of developmental, psychological, biological or environmental influences, but as being, that is able to create, within the boundary) of the possible.
Existential Education wants to mobilize the forces of self-formation within the child and to support him/her in leading a meaningful life. It is necessary to include the child`s will to decide for him/herself. Therefore, Existential Education requires the consistent involvement of the child as a person.
The paradigm of Existential Education differs from other schools of psychotherapy in its "relativity". Human beings are the focal points. There is nothing absolute that would apply in all circumstances. Everything is subject to being questioned and revised. Education, just like life in general, is a "sphinx" (Bollnow). Both can never be completely understood and change constantly. Similar to Längle, who describes the Existential Paradigm as a pure bundle of relationships, Existential Education may be understood as an educational theory of relativity. Everything is relative: There are no eternal truths as regards education, means of education and educational goals, which apply to all children and in all circumstances.
- Existential Education builds on the philosophical foundation of Existential Analysis.
- The themes of Existential Education, especially its idea of human beings, their personality and their position in relation to the world, require a rethinking of classical educational approaches. Education undergoes a readjustment and a shift in emphasis. Much appears in a different light.
- Everything is not only relational, but reflexive. Not only is everything in flux, but everything hinges on everything else. Radical focus on human beings implies that there is nothing fixed. Educators and those to be educated, just like their relationship among each other, are invariably incomparable.
- Everything moves and influences everything else. It would not be exaggerated to speak of a general and special theory of relativity in education. Transposed to education, it means that education needs to live without fixed points of reference that endure over time. In specific cases, Education arises from the dynamic interaction between educator and the individual to be educated. This interaction is always different and always new. The classic causal-effect relationship can only capture certain aspects of human beings.
- Existential Education resists templates. It puts educators in a position to develop an understanding of being a person and a stance in relation to being a person.
- Existential Education is not a dogmatic system. It is not a closed, fixed system, but a general stance in constant development.
- Existential Education is not only open to new learning, but also compatible with other schools that are not in direct conflict with idea of human beings, their personality and their position in relation to the world.