Humanistic approach to learning is a theory that is learner centered. It puts emphasis on encouraging learners to develop an interest towards educating themselves. It includes the observation of the behaviour learners and the outcome of the behaviour. However, Barrett states that this observation yields learning and learning does not include a change in behaviour. Abraham Maslow is regarded as the father of Humanistic Psychology. He emphasises experiences in the study of human behaviour and learning.

Characteristics of Humanistic Approach

The characteristics of humanistic approach to learning in the classroom are as follows:

Teacher is a role model

According to this learning approach, the teacher is a role model. The teacher must display appropriate behavior as learners may model themselves upon their teachers.

Teachers should motivate learners

The humanistic learning approach suggests that teachers should be a source of motivation for learners and encourage them to develop an interest in learning.

Students should be observant

The theory suggests that learners should observe new things and new knowledge and also observe their behaviour to make required changes and improvement.

Students should be responsible

Learners must develop realistic goals and also be responsible for their actions. They should be able to make decisions.

Students should explore

It is important for learners to be curious and explore new things so that they can increase their knowledge and foster their interest for learning.

Natural desire for learning

The humanistic learning approach suggests that learners must have a natural desire to learn and educate themselves.

Teacher is a facilitator

The teacher acts as a facilitator for learners who assists them in learning new knowledge as well as developing an interest for the same.


Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Malcolm Knowles are regarded to be few of the proponents of the humanistic approach to learning. According to this theory, learners should be encouraged to develop a natural interest in educating themselves.

Characteristics of Humanistic Approach
Characteristics of Humanistic Approach