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HUMANISM IN THE CLASSROOM: TEACHING & LEARNING IN THE EYES OF ROGERS & MASLOW

Posted on March 17, 2013 by julesborras
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Studying the science of psychology for quite some time now made me realized that there isn’t one single approach that is used to explain all human behaviours and mental processes alone. One possible explanation for this is the fact that a particular approach has its own strengths and limitations. This realization is likewise true in my quest to understand and apply the process of learning.

Among the approaches, humanistic psychology at first glance may not be associated with learning. Its principles and applications are more related to the fields of counselling, developmental, personality and social. But in learning, some may think twice. Nevertheless, humanistic approach, the ‘third force’ of psychology, focus on the things that make people uniquely human such as subjective emotions and the freedom to choose one’s own destiny. Can this approach be applied in the classroom? Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, the famous founders of humanism, would definitely say yes! The question now is how? To answer the question, let me discuss their theories.

CARL ROGERS: The Self-Concept

Rogers (1961) emphasized that human beings are always doing their utmost effort to fulfil their innate capacities and capabilities and to develop into everything that their genetic potential will allow them to become. This striving for fulfilment is called the self-actualization tendency. For an individual to become self-actualize, he or she must develop an image of oneself or the self-concept. The self-concept is based on what people are told by others and how the sense of self is reflected in the words and actions of important people in one’s life, such as parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, and teachers....

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