Application of Maslow's Theory to Education

Teacher's Role

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element inthe classroom...As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child's lifemiserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument ofinspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it ismy response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, anda child humanized or dehumanized (Ginott, 1976).

Jones & Jones (1990) showed that how teachers conduct their classroomsis a major factor directing students' motivation. Therefore, it is theresponsibility of teachers to know what their students' needs are, to understandthe concept of Maslow's hierarchy, and to develop their teaching programsaccordingly. Ray (1992), stated, "In the educational scene the teacher hasthe primary responsibility to develop, encourage, enhance, and maintainmotivation in the student."

In his later years, Maslow realized that an environmental precondition ofstimulation, or challenge, was needed to motivate individuals. Therefore, it isalso the teachers' responsibility to include a means of stimulation in theirteaching programs to catch students' interest (Global, 1972).

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