Constructivism Theory : The Humanist Approach

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Similar and yet still different to that of constructivism theory is the humanist approach. Humanists take into effect the recognition of a learner’s abilities in areas such as individual development, creativity and liberty. According to Maslow, 1987, for a student to attain self-actualization, an acceptance of lower level of requirements (safety and convenience) is necessary. Therefore, educations foremost purpose is achieving the maximum development capacity of an individual. Although we can say this approach is being implemented in some way to the present education system and learning, it is not to an optimal effect. Many students drop out of high school before they reach their VCE year, as mentioned in Appendix A. This is due to the fact that many feel misunderstood and unsupported. Furthermore resulting in the misconception of thinking they are not ‘smart’ enough to aim for higher education. Rogers, 1982, supported the learner-centered perspective and a semantic continuum. On one end of the continuum are elements that holds no sentiments to the learner, engaging in only the mind. On the opposite end is where the heuristic learning is found, involving the mind and personal feelings. Humanist knows the rights of learner to choose with no interference from unintentional incites and external coercion. However, is the downside too much freedom? If the educators hand over all responsibility and liberty to the students in regards to how they wish to learn or are capable to learn, is that an ambiguous way of transferring any consequence that may emerge from the teacher to the student. A fine line needs to be present to maintain a beneficial conclusion in reality. The many learning theories outline the many ways to approach learning,... ... middle of paper ... in some way. If we consider the basis of humanist theories, such as Maslow, we can find it in the cognitivists and behaviourist approaches. If we were to give a generalisation, it can be said that the use of any of these theories is necessary and beneficial. Therefore, it is essential that the correct techniques and learning principles as well as its correct application by the teachers and students is needed to achieve the best results. It brings to mind whether these theories were at the forefront of the minds of my previous teacher, or if they still are. Many of my teachers struggled with the management of multiple student issues at one time, and students felt neglected in their thoughts and education. Would it have been possible to overcome this impasse then if this knowledge was apparent in the students and the teachers had more capability to implement them?

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