Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Humanistic Approaches to Learning

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_530

Synonyms

Definition

Humanistic approaches to learning are based on the principles of humanism and are founded most notably on the work of Abraham Maslow (1908–1970) and Carl Rogers (1902–1987). They center on the learner as an individual and consider that learning is not just about the intellect, but also about educating the “whole person,” taking a person’s interests, goals, and enthusiasm into account, so that full potential can be achieved. This approach to learning is student centered, with learners encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and being intrinsically, rather than extrinsically motivated. The primary goal of a humanistic education is human well-being, including the primacy of human values, the development of human potential, and the acknowledgment of human dignity.

Theoretical Background

Defining humanism as a philosophy is problematic. However, it is generally accepted and...

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References

  1. Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Kurtz, P. (1973). The humanist alternative: some definitions of humanism. Buffalo: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  3. Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  4. Rogers, C. (1969). Freedom to learn: a view of what education might become. Columbus: Charles E. Merrill.Google Scholar
  5. Stoll Lillard, A. (2005). Montessori: The science behind the genius. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Vaughan, M. (2006). Summerhill and A.S. Neill. New York: Open University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishLingnan UniversityHong KongChina