The basis for Humanistic Education – Humanistic Education refers to an educational philosophy that believes human beings are, by nature, self-developing creatures. An educator’s primary responsibility is to create an environment in which students can do their own growing. Humanistic educators have a broad understanding of the knowledge that children acquire as they grow, and highly value students’ affective and social development as well as their intellectual development. The goal of humanistic education is to contribute to the development of energetic, positive, self-respecting, caring human beings who can meet all challenges.
Humanistic education (also called person-centered education) is an approach to education based on the work of humanistic psychologists, most notably Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, Carl Rogers has been called by whom? ] the ” Father of Humanistic Psychology ” and devoted much of his efforts toward applying the results of his psychological research to person-centered teaching where empathy, caring about students, and genuineness on the part of the learning facilitator was found to be the key traits of the most effective teachers.
He edited a series of books dealing with humanistic education in his ” Studies of the Person Series, ” which included his book, Freedom to Learn and Learning to Feel – Feeling to Learn – Humanistic Education for the Whole Man, by Harold C. Lyon, Jr In the 1970s the term ” humanistic education ” became less popular after conservative groups equated it with ” Secular Humanism ” and attacked the writings of Harold Lyon as being anti-Christian. That began a successful effort by Aspy, Lyon, Rogers, and others to re-label it “person-centered teaching “, replacing the term ” humanistic education. ” In a more general sense, the term includes the work of other humanistic pedagogues, such as Rudolf Steiner and Maria Montessori.
All of these approaches seek to engage the ” whole person: the intellect, feeling life, social capacities, and artistic and practical skills are all important focuses for growth and development. Important objectives include developing children’s self-esteem, their ability to set and achieve appropriate goals, and their development toward full autonomy.
Principles of Humanistic Education
There are five basic principles of humanistic education:
- Students should be able to choose what they want to learn. Humanistic teachers believe that students will be motivated to learn a subject if it’s something they need and want to know.
- The goal of education should be to foster students ‘ desire to learn and teach them how to learn. Students should be self-motivated in their studies and desire to learn on their own.
- Humanistic educators believe that grades are irrelevant and that only self-evaluation is meaningful. Grading encourages students to work for a grade and not for personal satisfaction. In addition, humanistic educators are opposed to objective tests because they test a student’s ability to memorize and do not provide sufficient educational feedback to the teacher and student.
- Humanistic educators believe that both feelings and knowledge are important to the learning process. Unlike traditional educators, humanistic teachers do not separate the cognitive and affective domains.
- Humanistic educators insist that schools need to provide students with a non-threatening environment so that they will feel secure to learn. Once students feel secure, learning becomes easier and more meaningful.
The Whole Person, Humanistic educators believe that both feelings and knowledge are important to the learning process. Unlike traditional educators, humanistic teachers do not separate the cognitive and affective domains. Humanism would concentrate on the development of the child’s self-concept. If the child feels good about him or herself then that is a positive start. Feeling good about oneself would involve an understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and a belief in one’s ability to improve.
Learning is not an end in itself; It is the means to progress toward the pinnacle of self-development, which Maslow terms ” Self – actualization ‘. A child learns because he or she is inwardly driven, and derives his or her reward from the sense of achievement that having learned something affords. This would differ from the behaviorist view that would expect extrinsic rewards to be more effective. Extrinsic rewards are rewards from the outside world, e.g. praise, money, gold stars, etc. Intrinsic rewards are rewards from within oneself, rather than the satisfaction of a need. This accords with the humanistic approach, where education is really about creating a need within the child or instilling it within the child’s self-motivation. Behaviourism is about rewards from others. Humanism is about rewarding yourself!
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