Learning Theory Series 05: Humanism

Humanism emphasizes that learners are inherently good and will make good decisions when all their needs are met. Feelings, intellect, social skills, artistic skills, practical skills, along with self-esteem, goals, and full autonomy are key learning contributors to learning.  

Humanism is largely based on the works of Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and James F. T. Bugental.

  • Rogers emphasized that the experience is unique to each individual learner.
  • Bugental emphasized the differences between individual learners.
  • Maslow focused on the idea of self-actualization which is the top-level in the five-tier model that categories and prioritizes human needs.

Humanism believes that learners must be considered as a ‘whole’ with a focus on the idiographic case which means focus on the individual instead of forming inferences based on the performance of groups.  Also another key point is that knowledge and feelings go hand-in-hand in any learning process and should be given equal weightage.

Read more about the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

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