Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Maslow's Theory and Inclusion

We as teachers often assume the basic needs of our students are being met, and we hope that their safety needs are also assured. We might not have a great deal of influence over what happens externally from the school, however in keeping with the principles of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory the ideology of the Dimensions of Learning framework (Marzano, 1997), particularly Dimension 1, assists us with the strategies required to assist in fostering an effective classroom climate where students feel safe, secure and accepted by their teachers and peers.
Kunc (1992) suggests that inclusive education is an opportunity to actualise Maslow’s Hierarchy. Avramidis,( 2000) reveals that his research suggests teachers who have experience in creating inclusive classroom environments have a more positive attitude toward inclusive education. What was also discovered in this research was that the level of professional development of the teacher significantly related to their attitude toward inclusion. This may be interpreted that by supporting teachers to enhance their skills and providing opportunities for teachers to gain experience of an inclusive environment, improved attitudes towards inclusive education is likely to follow. Supporting teachers to develop skills using ICT's and Web 2 technologies is an example of the practical upskilling teachers may undertake to help them discover and utilise the resources that are available through technology.
All of us enjoy the support of our friends and peers and students with complex learning needs are no different. As educators of the future I believe it is important to have the skills and the desire to differentiate the curriculum to enable all students to be accommodated in the classroom, ensuring students are not educated in social isolation from their peers, and as a result condemned to social isolation as adults. Using ICT's is a fantastic way of differentiating the learning, supporting students with low literacy levels and allowing students with special needs to experience success alongside their peers.

Avramidis, E., Bayliss, P., Burden, R. (2000) A Survey into Mainstream Teachers’ Attitudes Towards the Inclusion of Children with Special Educational Needs in the Ordinary School in one Local Education Authority. Educational Psychology, 20 (2) 191-211.[electronic resource] Retrieved from

Kunc, N. (1992). The Need to Belong: Rediscovering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. [electronic resource]. Retrieved July 31, 2009 from

Marzano & Pickering, (1997). Dimensions of learning: Teachers Manual (2nd Ed.) Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory, Aurora, Colorado.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sharon,
    Networking is the best way of working and learning I find and totally agree with you that it is essential for learning managers to constantly develop and stay up to date. After all are teachers meant to be role models. ICT's have multiple communication methods so all the learners can be included.