4 Things Students Need Before They Are Available for Learning

Four Things Students Need Before They Are Available for Learning
By:
Cross Country Education
Posted:
November 17, 2021 23:50 PM (GMT-05:00)
Categories:
Resources

Using Maslow’s Hierarchy to Ensure Students’ Basic Needs are Met

As scholastic demands increase for both educators and students, it’s vital to consider student needs. A motivation to learn can only be possible when the needs of the student are met. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory used to assess the basic needs of a person. Educators should take these factors into consideration and do their best to ensure these needs are met.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Students

Before we can expect students to be available to engage in learning, we must foster fulfillment of these four foundational needs:

  1. Physical Needs: Basic necessities of life such as food, water, rest and shelter. If basic needs are not met, then thinking and communicating become challenging.
    Suggestions for the Classroom:
    • Allow water and snacks
    • Communicate with the office to find out whether a student can rest when sleep-deprived

  2. Safety Needs: How a student feels in both their home and classroom.
    Suggestions for the Classroom:
    • Build relationships with students to help gain empathy and an understanding of their lives both in and out of school
    • Provide coping strategies for when students feel anxiety or stress
    • Emphasize that your first and most important job as an educator is to keep students safe

  3. Social Needs: The requirement to have relationships, love and belonging.
    Suggestions for the Classroom:

  4. Self-Esteem Needs: The ability to have a positive sense of achievement, self-worth and peer validation.
    Suggestions for the Classroom:
    • Use a daily positive affirmation
    • Give students positive, specific, timely and constructive praise often
    • Allow time in the day for students to give specific compliments to one another

Fulfilling Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Promote Learning

Applying these practical suggestions based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs will help create daily connections with your students. Educational growth and learning are what we, as educators, strive to guide all of our students toward. We must work to ensure Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is fulfilled for each student before the student is available for learning. Creating an educational space with a student-centered approach means addressing safety, socialization and needs, first and foremost. Research from the University of Tennessee shows that “with these needs met, a student has a better chance of achieving academically” (Caraccio).

Remember…Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs isn’t only for addressing student needs. To serve our students to the best of our abilities, we must ensure that, as educators, we address our own basic needs as well!

Resources on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the Classroom

These additional resources can help you use Maslow’s Hierarchy to ensure your students’ needs are met so they are prepared to learn:

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