Journey to Excellence



Humanistic education aims at guiding students toward growth as a "whole" person. This growth includes physical, mental, emotional, and even moral development. Self-actualization is the goal. Students are discovering their personal interests and unfolding their potential as individuals.

The objective is not merely to produce good students, but also contented, functional human beings who contribute positively to their environment.


Mastery of facts and skills is de-emphasized. Learning opportunities should provide a wide array of intellectual pursuits from which the student may choose. Emphasis is on development of creativity and critical thinking skills.

The teacher nurtures the student's sense of personal identity. Interactions are geared toward supporting the student's developing self-esteem. The student's ideas, language, and culture are respected and appreciated. Academic inquiry follows the student's interests and orientations.

Teachers must be open to sharing themselves honestly with students. This is a requisite for establishing the "authentic" relationships the humanistic approach is based on.

Website Resources

An article on humanism and open education.

From behaviorism to humanism: Incorporating self-direction in learning concepts into the instructional design process.

Complete this rating scale to find out if your beliefs about learning are consistent with those of behaviorism, cognitivism, or humanism.

More Humanism Resources on CIRCLE

WARNING: Teachers are responsible to ensure that materials selected for use reflect Seventh-day Adventist philosophy.

NAD Education   Copyright © 2004-2008 North American Division Office of Education   SDA Church