What is the Humanistic approach to classroom management?

      This approach to classroom management places emphasis on the individual to instill a sense of responsibility within that individual. It is recognizing and accepting the whole student. The humanistic model is discovering individual strengths and celebrating them. The self-esteem of the student is emphasized and therefore, positive interactions and relationships are nurtured between peers and the teacher. Explanation and reasoning are important aspects of discipline within this model. Students should know and understand classroom rules, standards, and goals. It would be beneficial to have students help create the classroom guidelines to ensure they have a voice and a sense of responsibility to themselves and to the class. 





Proactive classroom and business management

     Proactive classroom management can take cues from proactive business management. The business management side focuses on the individual and on responsibility. Ideas from Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs) and Deming (Total Quality Management) can help a teacher shape how the classroom is run. It is the focus on the individual needs of the students. For instance, in the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, the teacher would need to help a student satisfy the bottom tier of the pyramid before the student could reach the next step.


     There is a consistency between proactive business management ideas. All ideas point towards individual worth, responsibility, and accentuating the positve to promote motivation. Children should have a voice in the classroom. It prepares them to be decision makers and productive contributors in the work force. Incentive in the classroom can be established by allowing students to have a say in the creation of classroom goals, standards, and rules. Participation in creating goals is motivational and leads to students assuming responsibility for their actions (or at least helps them to self-monitor). 

     Proactive business management shows that quality interactions and relationship building are important factors for the teacher to develop with students. This in turn will promote students becoming actively involved within the classroom community. Ideas and concepts from proactive business management can benefit classroom management procedures. 



Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

         Maslow created the Hierarchy of Needs pyramid.  He believed that human motivation was driven by the needs on the pyramid. One must acquire all needs on the bottom of the pyramid before proceeding to the next level. Maslow theory ties into Eupsychian Management. Eupsychian Management looks at motivation from the perspective of the individual. It is a humanistic approach that believes that people are empirically good. In essence, if a student’s needs are met from Maslow’s pyramid, motivation should increase. Eupsychian management assumes that people want to reach self-actualization and are improvable. If we help students meet their individualized needs, remain positive, and help them build upon their self-esteem, we can help them reach the higher levels of the pyramid. Maslow, it would seem, was aware that this form of ideal management would only work under conditions in which there is a high level of internal motivation and a low level of external influence. Therefore, we need to focus on the whole person and accentuate the positive while eliminating the negative. Teachers need to trust that students are naturally good natured, responsible, and are team players and should assume that negative behavior is reactive rather than a natural occurrence. In the end, this would place individual responsibility on the students because it is assumed that the responsibility is wanted and will increase their self-worth.



Concluding remarks about the humanistic model

      When it comes to the humanistic model, the basic focus is on the individual. It is uncovering individual strengths and weaknesses. Teachers should utilize a student's strengths and improve upon their weaknesses. It is celebrating differences and recognizing that everyone has a unique purpose. It is improving self-worth and increasing self-motivation. Responsibility is placed in the hands of the students, because responsibility will increase self-worth and motivation. The humanistic model should also be termed the whole person approach. As teachers we want to accept and build upon every aspect that makes an individual. The humanistic model is putting more control in the hands of the students. But, with teacher support, effective classroom rules and procedures, and a positive atmosphere can be very rewarding and beneficial to the class as a whole and to the individual students.