Educational Psychology in the Classroom


Humanism focuses on the individual's understanding and how they view a situation. The focus is on personal development, there is no comparison from student to student, rather the aim is for each individual to be the best they can be personally. In this perspective "unconditional positive regard" on the part of the teacher towards the student is critical. The student must feel that the teacher respects them as a person even if they do not like everything they do. Van Bergen, P (2010)

This tradition makes emotion the focus. Feelings are viewed as significant in their own right and as primary contributors to behavior Byrnes (1986). Humanists believe that personal meaning is closely linked to personal choice. They do not deny environmental and genetic influences on behavior, however, humanists believe that personal volition allows a person to rise above these influences. They believe that people choose their reactions to external events and become what they choose to be Williams, R (1999).

Humanists believe strongly in intrinsic motivation and that extrinsic rewards both cheapen academic performance and
undermine intrinsic motivation Williams, R (1999). Students' intrinsic interests should be the most important consideration in deciding what learning experiences to provide at school (Alam, 1983).

Educational implications:

             - The teacher must meet student needs so that learning can occur

 - It is important the teacher encourages students to strive for their personal best

 - Focus on individual development

-  Don’t compare to other students in the group Van Bergen, P (2010)

Classroom activities
This page contains suggested classroom management skills and activities utilising the Humanist perspective.

Further Information

An Examination of Humanism - view here

Humanism in the Classroom - view here
Chomsky on Humanism - view here

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