Activity 4

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

One of the most famous theories of motivation was developed by Abraham Maslow in 1953. He proposed a hierarchy which began with basic physiological needs and which rose to higher-order needs such as ‘self actualization'.

READ: Read about Maslow's theory in Psychology - The Search for Understanding by Janet A. Simons, Donald B. Irwin and Beverly A. Drinnien (West Publishing Company, New York, 1987).

REFLECT: What do you understand by a ‘self-actualizing person'? How far would you agree with Maslow that "educators should respond to the potential an individual has for growing into a self-actualizing person"?

WRITE: Write about the extent to which Maslow's five levels of need are met in your own classroom, explaining the main hindrances to achieving the higher levels of his hierarchy and how might they be overcome? Then write critically about Maslow's theory. How useful do you find his analysis?

(Allow 40 minutes)