Maslows-hierarchy-of-needs is associated with the Humanist Theory of Adult Learning. As part of my course work in PIDP 3100 we are looking at a variety of theories and this one really resonates for me. Some of my web surfing led me to a brief summary of Humanist theorists at Learning-theories.com.
The diagram at the left reflects the stages Maslow developed to describe the evolutionary path the adult learner travels. Note, the foundation is based on physical and personal safety needs (food/clothing/shelter then safety). It is after those needs are addressed that the engagement with community and “belongingness” becomes important to the individual. I think this theory is very important because if an individual does not feel safe, is worried where the next meal is going to come from, and does not have a safe place to sleep, refresh and prepare for the next day they will be very distracted by these basis needs not being met — it will eclipse any opportunity presented in a learning environment and result in lower performance and potentially no engagement by the students — child or adult. My first reflective assignment for PIDP 3100 focuses on the humanist learning theories – an area of great interest for me. On future blog entries I will be writing a little more about the work of Carl Rogers – another noted Humanist.