2008-01-12 10:58 PM

Need to Educate (or Ten Points for Educators to Address a la Maslow)

There is an amazing power in being able to name something, whether or not that label is 100% accurate. Maslow did more than just model excellence in self-actualizing people. His metaphor of the needs hierarchy has influenced and inspired countless individuals.

I believe the biggest influence Maslow has had on society is by way of teachers. Who else has access to as many “young, impressionable minds” and the feeling of duty to explore these ideas? Along those lines I’d like to share the “ten points educators should address” (edited from this source to remove the shoulds and musts).

  1. Teach people to be authentic, to be aware of their inner selves and to hear their inner-feeling voices.
  2. Teach people to transcend their cultural conditioning and become world citizens.
  3. Help people discover their vocation in life, their calling, fate or destiny. This is especially focused on finding the right career and the right mate.
  4. Teach people that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and if people are open to seeing the good and joyous in all kinds of situations, it makes life worth living.
  5. Accept the person as he or she is and help the person learn their inner nature. From real knowledge of aptitudes and limitations we can know what to build upon, what potentials are really there.
  6. See that the person’s basic needs are satisfied. This includes safety, belongingness, and esteem needs.
  7. Refreshen consciousness, teaching the person to appreciate beauty and the other good things in nature and in living.
  8. Teach people that controls are good, and complete abandon is bad. It takes control to improve the quality of life in all areas.
  9. Teach people to transcend the trifling problems and grapple with the serious problems in life. These include the problems of injustice, pain, suffering, and death.
  10. Teach people to be good choosers. Provide opportunities to practice making good choices.

I am inspired and enthused by the fact that I already hold most of these in high regard in my own life and in my teaching. Whether you have your own children, dozens in your classroom, or only influence a single co-worker I feel these suggestions encourage each of us to make the world a better place. (For more teaching tips check out the full article and these other resources collected by the University of Hawai’i Honolulu.)

How do these guidelines influence and inspire your interactions?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “Need to Educate (or Ten Points for Educators to Address a la Maslow)”

  1. Rob Says:

    hey wayne,

    i like this one… i love the way that teachers are commissioned to be something much higher than we usually think of them doing.


  2. Anne O'rourke Bean Says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you knew if Maslow wrote this as an article or as a speech. Im writing a paper and need to cite it.

  3. Wayne Buckhanan Says:

    Hi Anne,

    I do not know whether the list is from Maslow directly. Since the page I linked to no longer holds that info, the best I can do is point you to a snapshot of what was there the week before I wrote the original post (5 years ago).


    It would appear that the original list, that I based this list on, was in Psychology – The Search for Understanding by Janet A. Simons, Donald B. Irwin and Beverly A. Drinnien. I can not tell from the way in which they frame the list whether it was a direct quote from Maslow, or just their take on something Maslow said.

    Best wishes on your paper!

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