Humanism in Educational Philosophy (Humanistic Educational Approach)

Humanism in Educational Philosophy (Humanistic Educational Approach)

June 29, 2021 Off By Felso

Humanist philosophy is also the human being. “It is a teaching that regards the love of humanity and the greatness of man as a goal and maturity”. Man is a meaningful and sufficient whole in itself. The main thing is people’s interests, values ​​and needs.

According to humanism, humans do not exhibit mechanical behavior like other living things. In other words, they may not always exhibit intentional and valuable behaviors. They believe that it is necessary to understand the human as a whole. People are a whole with their life-long experiences, the environment they live in and the special interest and motivation they have.

It is said that the philosophical foundations of the humanistic education approach were laid by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. The progressive education approach and the Humanist education approach have similar characteristics. Blumfeld (1993) says that progressive education and humanist education are the same. However, for many educators, the progressive and humanist understanding of education is not the same even though it has similar qualities.

According to Gage and Berliner, there are five basic goals in the understanding of humanistic education.

Encourage personal orientation and independence.

Giving responsibility for choosing what needs to be learned.

Developing creativity.


An artistic side.

The principles that the humanistic approach puts into the educational programs to achieve the above-mentioned goals are as follows:

It is aimed to raise fully independent individuals. Students are individuals, not just numbers.

There is no coercion and directive, there is interest and respect.

The student is encouraged to be active and encouraged to make their own choices.

Students learn best what they want and need to learn.

Knowing how to learn is more valuable than getting a lot of information.

Teaching should be based on the student’s interests, abilities and needs.

The rules, resources and practices should be determined by the student.

Diversity in thinking is rewarded.

The most meaningful assessment for student success is the student’s self-assessment.

Emotions are just as important as facts.

Students learn better in non-threatening environments.

Among the teaching principles of humanist theory, it is student-centered, a social personality development is essential, it is against the performance-based, test and exam-oriented education approach, learning through invention, and respecting the feelings and personal preferences of the students come to the fore.

Three basic features of humanist understanding;

In terms of the content of the curriculum: The fact that the education program consists of subjects related to the real life of students.

In terms of the functioning of the curriculum: It should be focused on all students in cognitive and affective terms.

In terms of school and group structure: It is the arrangement of timing and school environment to support humanistic teaching and individual classes.

While the humanist education approach emphasizes open classroom and alternative assessment methods on the basis of school; On the class basis, activities, curriculum, social and intellectual skills are student-centered.

In the humanist education approach, there is no competition, cooperation is encouraged, there is no curriculum limitation, it is student-centered, there is no strict timing.

Good teacher for humanistic understanding;

Allowing students to choose the activities they will participate in and the roles they will take at every opportunity,

Helping students learn to set realistic goals

Encouraging students to work in groups and cooperative learning to develop social and affective skills,

Facilitates group discussions when appropriate and acts only as a facilitator,

Being a role model for the behaviors, beliefs and habits that they want to strengthen,

Sensitive to students’ feelings

Receiving student opinions about teaching,


He is the teacher who does not neglect to smile.

Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology, Grade 4 “Sociology of Education” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); prof. Dr. Hüseyin Akyüz – A Research on Basic Concepts and Fields of Sociology of Education; Atatürk University, Department of Sociology, Year 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Other Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)