12 February 2013

Maslow, of the Hierarchy Fame

Your needs are met if you're this happy.
I'm assuming most educated people can't hear the name "Maslow" without having the word "hierarchy" come to mind next. (Pavlovian, isn't it?) Yes, Maslow would not be surprised by the fact that poverty seems to cause a massive amount of academic tribulation. After all, who cares about school (self-actualization, esteem, and belonging) if they're hungry when they go to bed (physiological) or go home to an empty or abusive house (safety)?

Anyway, here's the famous Hierarchy of Needs itself:
  1. Physiological: staying alive part 1
  2. Safety: staying alive part 2
  3. Belonging: sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name
  4. Esteem: I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonit... oh wait that last part belongs in the previous need
  5. Self-actualization: listen to the theme song to Perfect Strangers (below)
You can see Maslow's Hierarchical influence everywhere. The government steps in to try to make sure your physiological needs are taken care of if you're too poor to do it yourself. The school steps in and provides free or reduced price breakfast and lunch to make sure kids don't go hungry at school. We go to great lengths trying to create a safe environment at school; bullying is not tolerated. This is where it becomes the teacher's responsibility to further promote a safe environment. It is up to the teacher to try to help students feel good about school and be self-motivated to learn and do more.

Thanks Maz.
Lyrics (emphasis added for Maslow):
Sometimes the world looks perfect,
Nothing to rearrange.
Sometimes you just, get a feeling
Like you need some kind of change.
No matter what the odds are this time,
Nothing's going to stand in my way.
This flame in my heart,
And a long lost friend
Gives every dark street a light at the end.

Standing tall, on the wings of my dream.
Rise and fall, on the wings of my dream
The rain and thunder
The wind and haze
I'm bound for better days.
It's my life and my dream,
Nothing's going to stop me now

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