The humanistic approach to learning refers to the theory that puts focus on encouraging learners to develop an interest in educating themselves. The theory was propounded by Abraham Maslow and other proponents. He is regarded as the father of Humanistic Psychology. He emphasizes experiences in the study of human behavior and learning. The approach involves the observation of the behavior learners and the outcome of the behavior.

Advantages of the Humanistic Approach

The advantages of the humanistic approach to learning are as follows:

Emphasizes Individuals

The theory puts heavy focus on learners and their development.

Holistic Approach

The approach is holistic as it focuses on the overall development of an individual.


The theory promotes a curriculum that takes the learners’ knowledge and experience into account.

Promotes Applicable Knowledge

The theory ensures that the knowledge being imparted can be applied in real life.

Promotes Self Actualization

The theory ensures that the learner can develop a self interest in learning.

Disadvantages of the Humanistic Approach

The disadvantages of the humanistic approach to learning are as follows:

Lack of Empirical Evidence

Many researchers state that the theory lacks empirical evidence.

Offers Limited Solutions

The theory is learner-centered due to which individuals with complex problems may not receive proper guidance.

Lack of Conscious Awareness

The theory fails to take conscious awareness into account and acknowledge its importance.

Not a Scientific Approach

Due to the lack of objective methods used in the approach, it is considered unscientific.

Not Realistic

The theory is regarded to focus too much on positivity due to which it may not be highly realistic.

These are the various advantages and disadvantages that characterize the humanistic approach to learning.

Emphasizes IndividualsNot Realistic
Learner-CenteredLack of Conscious Awareness
Holistic ApproachNot a Scientific Approach
Promotes Applicable KnowledgeOffers Limited Solutions
Promotes Self ActualizationLack of Empirical Evidence
Advantages and Disadvantages of Humanistic theory
Advantages and Disadvantages of Humanistic Learning Theory