Human psychology is a psychological approach which owes its emergence back in 1950. It came up to replace psychoanalysis and behaviorism. It aims at understanding humans as distinct creatures with free will, consciousness and who are responsible of their own deeds. Its chief objective is to understand each person wholly and helping them realizes their potential to the fullest which consequently makes these human to positively add value to the whole society. Basically, this approach attempts to understand the nature of humans as being a level qualitatively distinct from that of other creatures. It though lacks consideration of the basic significance of social relationships in a viable psychological growth. The humanistic approach (the self part) is important.
Humanistic psychology has them following number of assumptions: it pre assumes that human beings are respectable in the sense that they cannot be reduced to just mere components. It also places an assumption that human beings have a distinct element of being human in them. This assumption bases itself in the fact that if all humans do not possess a certain character in common, then they would not qualify to be called a common human race and they would not be different from all other creatures. It also assumes that the human consciousness entails one’s realization in the context of other peoples in the society. It views human beings as creatures who have the freedom of choice and who posses various responsibilities. Human beings are also viewed to be intentional i.e. always urge to seek the meaning, are creative and they have value. (Bugental 1964)
Today in the education sector, humanism is a great contributor to its success. It would focus on the growth and development of the self concept of the child. For example in the case of a child think he or she is good, is strength in a positive growth of the child. It entails understanding ones weak points and strengths. This is a key factor which helps a child to improve his or her abilities (Lindgren 1967).
A research has shown that out of all children who pass through the current education system most of them lacks the strengths to face challenges in life. This can be largely being associated to the failure of the education sector emphasis on the humanistic approach to education. Most children today are taken to school with parents already decided on what they will be in future. So everything they are taught in school is not out of their own drive but because they are forced to. This causes them to be in school not because they have set their goals but because they found themselves in that line of study.
In modern schools setting, more so in 3rd world countries, humanistic psychology doesn’t exist. The curriculums are fixed and the students are taught what the teacher has and they should follow that no wonder the number of school dropouts. As most people today are in the race to become financially independent, teachers are also among them. In most cases teachers are not available for students beyond class hours which have resulted to lack of someone to address the psychological issues of the children.
Also most people have neglected the education as a tool for growth and have adopted it as a money making machine and a measure of social class. Today having gone through the education system is seen as a ‘big’ deal by the society and in turn children works hard not because they have the drive in themselves but because the society is there to appreciate them which is not the key aim of humanistic psychology (Gates 1942).
In itself, learning cannot be termed as an end; this means that learning is an element of steering one to a peak of self growth and development. Reaching this height s has been referred to by Maslow as self actualization. The drive to learn in the child is because he or she is triggered by interest, self drive and the sense of achievement. This largely differs from the views of behaviorists who emphasizes on the expectation of extrinsic outcomes in order to enhance the effectiveness. A behaviorist aims at the rewards from others while in humanistic psychology the child in the learning system is trained to reward him or hers
In the education arena, humanist teachers are supposed to pout their effort into developing the self esteem of a child. It is always vital to teach children to develop high esteem and to develop high self efficacy- which is the ability to feel that they can set and realize suitable objectives. This method is referred to as child centered approach of humanistic psychology. It is characterized by children becoming responsible of their education and possessing their learning. Humanists object use of praise and punishment to develop this since children can become so much addicted to being praised by their parents and teachers making them work when they are praised and fail to work when praises do not come their way. Actually, if education today is aimed to prepare children to be better in their adult life then it implies that the humanistic approach should be adopted (Bugental 1964).
Most humanist teachers today ought to be catalysts of knowledge but not disseminators of the same. This method is evident in some schools more so in the developed countries where children do not rely on everything that the instructors says. In this kind of setting the instructor or the teacher is primarily concerned with the child emotional needs. In this scope how one feels and thinks of him or her plays a major role in learning.
Carl Rogers being one of the developers of humanistic or a type of counseling that is basically centered on a person in about 1940 called the holistic approach as client centered therapy. In his approach he points out that there is need of psychological contact between the client (in our case the child) and the teacher. In this contact it is only one party (child) that wants assistance. Teachers must be very attentive and genuine in this congruence session. They must also be accepting and should not be there to judge the child but rather to help the child or the client to arrive at self actualization. As per Rogers the teacher or the counselor must not show sympathy but must be empathetic on Childs problems. This is a viable way to arrive to the success since the child is trained to find solutions to the problems in their learning field. Roger points out that if congruence, empathy, and unconditional positive regards are arrived at, then change and improvement must take its course. He also points out that when people are taught things that they in themselves are not interested the change that follows is only short lived and it is easily forgot compared to compare to when children are left to work out something on their own. When one does something out of self interest and self drive the change is long-lasting and cannot easily fade.
Therefore according to Rogers every human being lives in his or her own world which can never be known by any other person. The behavior of each individual forms a basis of self actualization. According to him one just need to self actualize in order to be motivated in a certain field. In a society setting he seems to imply that people’s behaviors are different and because of this, those in the education arena have to understand the perspective of the others and be actively involved in communication process in order to understand their behaviors. He also argues that the self part of an individual is made in that person. The critics from others can in some cases introject and cause one believe that is what they are. It is therefore essential that teachers should not talk ill of a student despite his or her inability to learn but should positively guide the child in realizing her real self.
Today not many schools have adopted the Carl point of view since it is ambiguous at some point. . There is no way a school can become humanistic but the idea of humanism can be extended to the curriculum, teachers’ styles, and may be teaching techniques. In actual sense it is the responsibility of a teacher to use the best approach in teaching a particular topic or subject may be where humanism can not apply. It is also very difficult to recognize the best teaching method since teachers apply so many techniques in their teaching process. So embarking on humanistic may do some student harm while others are doing well. Humanistic psychology when applied to education sector has in itself its drawbacks and advantages (Bugental 1964). Some advantages are:
Humanism perspective when applied especially in the lives of small children shapes them into becoming responsible adults who are not driven by what other peoples what but their own desires. Children raised from a humanistic perspective tend to achieve better grades compared to those that are propelled by other factors.
With interactive model which is associated with the humanistic approach in education students motivations is strengthened, the peer communication between them is promoted, disruptive behaviors are reduced, there is creation of a lasting teacher and student relationships, active learning is highly promoted, and the burden of one’s education is left to individuals. The disadvantages of are not far felt like its advantages. It fails to address the issue of time. If humanism is to be applied into the education sector; it means that more time will be taken to try understanding the children which could have been taken to teach them. This is also a problem where we have a class with slow learners and fast ones; it brings delay to fast learners and hence making them feel as if their time is being wasted by the teachers when they are addressing issues pertaining to slow learners (Schmuck 1974).
This student centered approach is also disadvantageous in the sense that those who have the internal drive to learn are given chance to prosper well compared to those who have negative attitude. Therefore it is viable to conclude that even though the humanistic approach exists, it exists in just a few regions of the globe. This approach though good in self actualization, it fails to extinct the problems found in the school environment