Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who is probably best known for his hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy is based on his theory that children’s psychological health (and ability to succeed as adults) depends on having innate human needs met. Maslow divided these needs into six categories based on priority, starting with basic physiological needs and culminating in self-actualization (see image above).

Although many of these needs seem self-evident, many education systems today tend to place less importance on categories such as “love and belonging,” and esteem,” labeling them as “soft skills.” Ongoing research being done by psychologists and neuroscientists such as Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Richard Davidson are providing hard evidence that a child’s emotional well-being is as if not more important than traditional academics. In fact, children who do not feel safe, supported and empowered have a difficult time learning.

In our chat on June 19th. we propose to probe a little deeper into Maslow’s hierarchy and discuss practical ways we as educators can address the needs of the “Whole Child.” Come prepared to think outside the box and to share your favorite Maslow quote. Some of our favorites are listed below.  See you Sunday!   – Jena and Brett


“All of life is education and everybody is a teacher and everybody is forever a pupil.”


“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”


“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”


“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”


“The self-actualized person must find in his life those qualities that make his living rich and rewarding.”


“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”


“The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something they consider important.”


“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”


“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”


About The Author

Author, illustrator and educator - Creator of the CritterKin books series and related programs, including The Not Perfect Hat Club: http://notperfecthatclub.com

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3 Responses

  1. Michelle Morales

    One of the first theorists learnt about when studying to become a teacher. Still so relevant today. Sometimes we lose sight of what a troubled student needs when we get caught up in the academia rather than looking at the reasons behind the behaviour. It is good to be reminded. Thank you.

      • michelle morales

        Thanks Jena
        I am afraid I missed Sunday’s chat as I had another commitment. I will have to have a look.

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