Humanistic Approach In Education

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Why do you want to become a teacher? This question evokes flashbacks of undergraduate education courses or uncomfortable cocktail parties. “To help students reach their full potential.” “To make the world a better place.” “To create change.” All of these are respectable, admirable answers that satisfy casual acquaintances or overworked professors, but educators are rarely asked an important follow-up question: what are you doing to ensure your students reach their potential and change the world for the better? It is my hope that after reviewing the humanistic approach to discipline that educators better understand how to answer that follow up question, and, more importantly, hold themselves accountable to the follow through. According to …show more content…
While Monty Roberts’s claim to fame is being known as the “horse whisperer,” his experiences with horse training are now being applied to the classroom. Roberts favors a humanistic approach to discipline, and argues that children cannot learn via forceful discipline because “the long term infliction of pain serves only to build resentment and destroy trust” (Roberts, 2000, p. 38). While Roberts’s claims are in regards to parenting, they are very applicable to our modern-day classrooms. Out of all of the traits of a democratic classroom, trust is the most important because without it, classroom relationships quickly disintegrate. Through a mutual trust, teachers can better encourage their students to take risks, uphold responsibilities, and use freedoms to their advantage. In order to earn a student’s trust, Roberts recommends that teachers (and parents!) create a “Blackboard” system for behavior. Using two chalkboard, one positive, one negative, teachers and students come up with positive actions and the rewards earned, and negative actions and the consequences to be served. What is most interesting, and probably most difficult for parents and teachers, is that we must let children make their own mistakes, even if we see it happening. Children need to make the decisions and learn their actions either have positive or negative consequences (p. …show more content…
McDaniel, a sense of belonging in a community is the most important facet of humanistic discipline. When students feel that they belong, they are able to problem-solve, and therefore able to analyze the needs of the classroom as a whole, brainstorm solutions for the good of the order, and deliberate as equals (McDaniel, 1984, p. 73). Kohn agrees, saying, “School… is a place in which students feel cared about and are encouraged to care about one another. They experience a sense of being valued and respected; the children matter to one another and the teacher… they are part of an “us”” (Kohn, 1996, p. 101)This personal, plural pronoun is an important motivator for students. If they don’t see a classroom as their personal space, then they will never learn to care enough about the learning within the

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