A Humanist Approach.

I researched Maslow’s human needs while studying for my Award in Education and Training from City and Guilds in 2015, at the time I understood and appriciated the system and still find it a very useful benchmark standard to operate by. In 2018 I undertook the Thinking Teaching course at UAL and came across some essays on humanism in education, I feel quite aligned to the humanistic principles, they are how I would like to be taught and how I aim to teach. Some of these principles include; self directed study in line with free will, fostering students desire to learn and self motivation, subjective feelings have equal weight to  knowledge in the learning process, students learn best in a non-threatening environment, where the students feel safe and comfortable. I am not entirely in tune with the idea that self-assessment is the absolute best form of assessment but I understand the reasoning behind this principle and that qualitative assessment is a priority. This is another in depth conversation about assessment for another day (I hope to interrogate this concept more deeply in my SIP unit).  These principles are outlined by Allender in his text Teacher Self, The Practice of Humanistic Education, and in an article I read on Simply Psychology this reading has helped to contextualise and solidify a methodology that comes quite naturally to me.  The knowledge I gained about Maslow’s human needs in 2015 has been built upon by these newer theories and I am forming a clearer understanding of this educational methodology. It is an area I would like to research in more depth.

Allender, J, S. (2001) Teacher Self: The Practice of Humanistic Education, Rowman & Littlefield.


Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370- 96.