Monday, June 6, 2011

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Student Learning

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is organized into five tiers. The lowest tier is most likely to be acted on, followed by needs that are less likely to be acted on. Physiological need is the most potent; therefore, a person is most likely to spend the most amount of time satisfying that need. Safety then follows which is the need to feel secure, and stable. A person needs to establish social relationships with friends and family members. Esteem refers to one respecting themselves and others. This involves achievement, adequacy and competence. Self-actualization is the hardest to fulfill. This involves utilizing one’s abilities and talents to the fullest.
                As a future teacher, this Hierarchy of Needs is vital for student’s success. There is no chance of a student being successful in school if their physiological needs are not met. Students need to be fed well balanced meals in school and be allowed bathroom and drink breaks. Students will not be able to concentrate on school work if they do not feel safe and secure. Teachers need to set clear guidelines and rules so students know exactly what is expected of them. They need to know their will not be any ‘surprise’ expectations put on them. Lesson plans need to be solid, concise, and achievable for the grade level. Esteem is very important, especially for students at an adolescent age. Teachers need to remember that kids are people to, and show them respect. Teachers need to make the students feel adequate by praising them when they do the right thing, or achieve a good grade. Self-actualization comes from setting standards high. If the teacher doesn’t believe the student can do it, the student isn’t going to think they can do it either. Students need to constantly be challenged and encouraged to discover things on their own.
                The video I found outlines Maslow’s Hierarchy for teachers. It goes through each stage showing teachers what they can do to better meet students’ needs.


  1. I really enjoyed this post Megan. My best friend is also studying to become a teacher and the stories she tells me from her student teaching experience and what she learns from her college classes deal with treating the children with the Hierarchy of Needs.

    I especially like that you mentioned that children need to be praised when they accomplish something. I believe that praise is very important in order to motivate and reassure children that they are doing things right. Praise is something people, children especially, take great pride in so giving it will encourage future success.

  2. I also found your post very interesting. While majoring in speech pathology I had to shadow speech sessions in a preschool disability classroom. While observing the children I found that the kids were more successful in producing the target sounds after lunch (when their physiological need was met) rather than before lunch when they were hungry. Therefore, I agree with you that it is important for children to have their physiological needs met before they can work to their fullest potential.