Public school students

In 1943, Abraham Maslow produced a theory of the hierarchy of needs which he considers to be a factor that governs the voluntary activities of human beings. However, it seems as if this has not been used within the educational system with many children failing to succeed or behaving improperly inside the classroom. It is in relation to this that the researcher looks into the importance of incorporating Maslow’s theory into the classroom as a means by which students are motivated to learn by encouraging them to do well in school and at the same time, ensuring that they behave properly.

This research featured ten public school teachers whose perceptions had been obtained in order to gain a better understanding of the issue at hand. CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY There is inadequate research clearly explaining the impact of motivational needs and the practices and beliefs of teachers on the students’ school success. Multiply factors have been explored ranging from parental relationship to the influence of peers, but in today’s world, students cannot be assumed to come from nurturing homes, or to have peers who value the school community and the goal of academic excellence.

In other words, students come to school with unmet needs. This population is at risk of developing and maintaining maladaptive attitudes, behaviors and inappropriate coping mechanisms learned during the school years and carried with them throughout their lives. There is a need for further research into how teachers can motivate students, from all backgrounds, to achieve school success and develop skills that will aid them throughout their lives. This research then primarily focused on how teachers regard and apply, or do not apply the hierarchy of needs theory proposed by Abraham Maslow. Background of the Study

The use of Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs in the classroom In 1978, Abraham Maslow proposed that humans are usually governed by a hierarchy of needs that starts and maintains their voluntary activities. The theory developed by Maslow regarding the hierarchy of needs is pictured in such a way that the needs are leveled from the bottom to the top in the following manner: (1) physiological needs; (2) safety needs; (3) social needs; (4) esteem needs; and lastly, (5) self-actualization needs (Yin-Cheong, 1989. ; Hannah, 2004). As previously mentioned, each human being has his or her own hierarchy of needs which he or she must satisfy.

Apparently, the concept developed by Maslow, generally shows that the lower level needs tend to be more powerful and satisfied first (Yin-Cheong, 1989; Frame, 1996). Once satisfied, the higher needs are then activated, thus influencing the person to attempt to satisfy the latter (Yin-Cheong, 1989. ). Furthermore, Yin-Cheong (1989) discusses that the inability to satisfy the different needs of people tend to significantly influence their behavior. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs of this particular dissertation, this study primarily focuses on the need to make use of Abraham Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchical Needs inside the classroom.

However, it has also clearly indicated that not much research was able to properly identify the relationship between motivational needs and the success of students in their educational undertakings. Nonetheless, Brickman (2007) suggests that schools and governments have long realized and acknowledged the strong relationship existing between the need to meet the students’ basic needs and their performance. In fact, it has been assumed that once the schools and the teachers fail to meet the needs of their students, the latter’s performance will more or less suffer (Brickman, 2007).

Because of this then, Hannah (2004) noted that it is the duty and responsibility of each educator to meet the five basic levels of needs of Maslow’s theory inside the classroom. She noted that the ability of teachers and/or instructors to do so would significantly affect the success of their students inside the classroom. Aside from this, the article entitled “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” (n. d. ), also points out that the said theory can efficiently help teachers in dealing with problematic students inside the classroom, thereby enabling the latter to gain a better understanding of their lessons.

It is in line with the previous discussions made that Brickman (2007) enumerated different actions undertaken by schools and other organizations under the government with regard to how they could properly increase the success and performance of the students in the educational setting by properly focusing on their needs that were identified by Abraham Maslow. He, unfortunately, however states, that most of the programs that had been developed by the schools are only focused upon the first level of the hierarchical structure, the physiological needs (Brickman, 2007).

These programs that address the tier of the hierarchy of needs – physiological needs- often focus on the students’ lack of proper nutrition, personal hygiene and sleep. Assuming that the first need has already been satisfied through the use of the previously enumerated programs, schools must then move on to the next tier of the hierarchy of needs: safety. According to Brickman (2007), the second set of needs is without a doubt, of vital importance to the success of the students in their educational undertaking. According to him, similar to physiological, student safety needs also play a critical role in ensuring the latter’s success.

In the same manner, this author further states that once the needs in this level has been satisfied, school officials must then focus on the other levels in order to bring about more positive effects to the performance of the students in their activities in school (Brickman, 2007). It is in line with this then that Brickman (2007) closes his article entitled “Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchical Needs – Alive and Well in the Classroom” with suggestions regarding the different actions that teachers may perform in order to ensure that they move up all the tiers of such structure in order to pose more benefits for the students.

These suggestions are more often than not related on how students can best properly learn while inside the classroom. In lieu with the discussion made by Brickman (2007), Kunc (1992) also acknowledges Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a paradigm by which learning can be motivated amongst students. According to him, it is through the paramount importance given by the educators to the needs of the students that the former will be able to successfully develop a more proper environment in order to accommodate the latter’s learning experience.

Aside from this, Kunc (1992) also believes that it is through the strict observance of the satisfaction of the said needs that the students will be prepared for their future lives in the community after graduation. Furthermore, the author also believes that it is necessary to ensure that following the argument of Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs, the students feel a sense of belongingness inside the classroom in order to achieve a sense of self-worth, thereby positively affecting, once again, the motivation of the students to learn (Kunc, 1992; Frame, 1986).

In another article published by Kunc (2000), as cited by Roush (n. d. ), the goal of the education is to produce self-learners. Because of this then, the educational system has been structured in such a way that it inverts Maslow’s hierarchy of needs by giving importance to the mastery of skills rather than achieving a sense of belonging (Kunc, 2000; Roush, n. d. ). This then poses unwanted effects to the learning patterns of the students, because as mentioned earlier, the motivation to learn can be achieved once the sense of belonging is guaranteed (Kunc, 1992).

Likewise, Kunc (2000) also mentions that the correction of the reversal of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs would eventually communicate a very important message to all students: that they are valued regardless of perceived abilities and needs, thereby ensuring that they are welcomed to participate and contribute. With this then, the motivation of the students to learn is once again guaranteed (Kunc, 2000). It is in line with the abovementioned then that this paper shall focus an extensive discussion of the use of Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs in the classroom and how this can efficiently affect the performance of the students.

It is in relation to this then that this dissertation shall also investigate whether or not teachers regard this particular theory in their conduction of everyday lessons. Furthermore, the researcher also seeks to conclude this study by enumerating different recommendations that the educational systems may undertake in order to properly incorporate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs into their practice, thereby positively influencing the performance and success of their students.