Principles of Humanistic Education

Choice or Control
The humanistic approach focuses a great deal on student choice and control over the course of their education. Students are encouraged to make choices that range from day-to-day activities to periodically setting future life goals. This allows for students to focus on a specific subject of interest for any amount of time they choose, within reason. Humanistic teachers believe it is important for students to be motivated and engaged in the material they are learning, and this happens when the topic is something the students need and want to know.

Felt Concern
Humanistic education tends to focus on the felt concerns and interests of the students intertwining with the intellect. It is believed that the overall mood and feeling of the students can either hinder or foster the process of learning.

The Whole Person
Humanistic educators believe that both feelings and knowledge are important to the learning process. Unlike traditional educators, humanistic teachers do not separate the cognitive and affective domains. This aspect also relates to the curriculum in the sense that lessons and activities provided focus on various aspects of the student and not just rote memorization through note taking and lecturing.

Self Evaluation
Humanistic educators believe that grades are irrelevant and that only self-evaluation is meaningful. Grading encourages students to work for a grade and not for intrinsic satisfaction. Humanistic educators disagree with routine testing because they teach students rote memorization as opposed to meaningful learning. They also believe testing doesn't provide sufficient educational feedback to the teacher.

Teacher as a Facilitator
"The tutor or lecturer tends to be more supportive than critical, more understanding than judgmental, more genuine than playing a role." Their job is to foster a engaging environment for the students and ask inquiry based questions that promote meaningful learning.