24 October, 2011
Abraham maslow's theory of self-actualization is especially important to the field of Early childhood Education because it theorized that all children have basic and growth needs that are essential for their healthy development and the attaining of self-actualization. The theory provides a guideline by which all caregivers should adhere in attempt to raise successful adults that are confident, secure, and goal oriented. It is growing more apparent with research that the early years of a child profoundly affects who the child will be as an adult. it is our responsibility as caregivers to provide these needs to all children in a child-care program. Our responsibilities are even more enhance in the case of a deprived and homeless child who lacks even the most basic of needs.
Firstly, it is my responsibility to provide ample amounts of food to the child. Maslow theorized that children deprived of physiological needs will be fixated upon obtaining these physiological needs. This is detrimental to development because the child would be unable to focus on activities that will support the child's development. Even though this would be considered going above and beyond for the child, it is part of our responsibility as caregivers to secure the whole child.
After physiological needs, safety needs are next up on the hiearchy. Homeless children tend to be teased and alienated more often, putting them at constant risk of feeling unsafe. As caregivers, we could not neglect any child, but we must also acknowledge that there are other children who are more deprived of needs. Therefore, I would consistently monitor the environment and atmosphere of the the center to ensure that all the children there feel safe, loved, and included. A safe and loving environment, according to Maslow, allows children to focus on giving and receiving love and the pursuit of knowledge, which is next need in the hierarchy of self-actualization.