The Humanistic Perspective on Classroom Management

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology, Abraham Maslow Pages: 6 (2384 words) Published: November 9, 2012
The humanistic perspective on classroom management.
In the education world of today, it is understood that one can only be effective in teaching by taking into consideration the different learning styles of students. In a classroom, it is expected that teachers would want their students to acquire a meaningful knowledge base, become proficient problem solvers and learn how to work productively with others (Biehler and Snowman, 2006, p. 370). If this is the case, teachers need to know how to be able to develop this situation in the classroom and make it more conducive to learning. Therefore, it would seem that they need to encourage students to converse with each other with group discussions and assignments, to make sure they are active in the class, physically as well as mentally, and that they as teachers are rational and firm authority figures in the classroom. The concept of a well-managed classroom would be equivalent to the picture painted here, where students may be interested, motivated and eager to learn.

The humanistic approach to teaching is one that is centered on the student. How the student feels and how able they are to relate to what is being taught is most important. This theory believes that if a student can understand how they learn and their behavior in relation to it, and that the classroom can support this behavior, they are more motivated to learn (Biehler and Snowman, 2006, p. 372). The humanistic approach is one that helps students believe in themselves and their potential; it encourages compassion and understanding that fosters self-respect and respect for others. As human beings we all have an innate desire to attain our full potential and achieve what we can to the best of our abilities. This approach shows the appealing idea that students can learn on their terms, or the way they want to, as the instruction in the classroom is geared towards their needs. The humanistic perspective seems to suggest that students would have a more positive outlook on education if it was approached in this manner, and there are a lot of people, students included, who support the view also.                 In terms of instruction, one can see the importance teachers place, or rather should place on reflection; they must constantly be thinking of how to make their teaching better. When thinking about self-improvement, good teachers have to develop their own personal strategies based on existing theories and models; they then utilize those strategies to make decisions in the actual classroom setting. The humanistic perspective in education, seeks to enhance how the basics of reading, writing, computing, vocational skills, problem-solving and decision-making work, by going beyond what is seen as basic (van Zolingen, 2002, p. 219). Humanists know that these skills are necessary and therefore their main interest should be how to get their students to be interested and motivated enough to develop these basic skills. One of the strongest reasons for supporting humanistic education is that, when done effectively, students learn. If a student feels that the teacher is genuinely concerned about them, accepts and values them and their opinions in the class, they would more likely open up to the teacher and express any concerns they might have. For example, if a student is failing a class, automatically teachers try to tell him or her how to study and prepare for the next test. A teacher following the humanistic perspective would rather, talk to the student about their interest in the subject, what they understand, how they study and even if the teacher’s methods are effective for them. This can better help students to understand their feelings and their role in learning (Biehler and Snowman, 2006, p. 373). It is evident, how this perspective focuses on the student and encourages them to learn by their standards. Considerable evidence shows that cooperative learning structures higher self-concepts, and the student's...
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