Focus on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
- Physical needs (physiological level): if the basic level, relating to a personal's survival, students won't be able to focus fully on on learning. We need to ensure the learning environment is clean and not crowded. There is adequate lighting and the room temperature is comfortable. The furniture should be organized that invites learning and collaboration. The room should be equipped with sufficient learning materials.
- Emotional needs (safety level): In this learning environment, students feel comfortable in asking and answering questions and their ideas and opinions are respected. It helps reduce fear, frustration, and anxiety when learning expectations are clearly communicated and the teacher establishes a routine for learning.
- Social needs (Belonging & self-esteem levels): Students need to feel a sense of belonging and love. Belonging is fostered when students collaborate to create caring communities through circles of friends (Falvey, Forest, Pearpoint, & Rosenberg, 2002). Teachers should intentionally and purposefully group students for collaboration. There should be opportunities for students to interact with and relate to others. Students should be invited to set up the norms of collaboration and discuss what good collaboration looks like. Constant and ongoing teacher support and feedback should be provided to help students grow in all aspects. Through social interaction and group collaboration, students are guided to explore their identity and develop self-confidence. Teachers should use varies strategies to amplify student voice and increase student autonomy. Students develop their ownership of learning and take pride in their work.
- Intellectual needs (self-actualization level): Once the needs mentioned above are met, students then can achieve and perform at their full potential. In this stage, students are motivated to learning and seek fulfillment. Teachers should set high expectation for every student. Students set own learning goals with the teacher's facilitation and engage in learning tasks.
Before teachers design student learning, we must focus on Maslow's Hierachy of needs in teaching in order to motivate students to learn.
More and more companies and organizations are using empathy maps to empathize their customers' experiences before they start designing their products. An empathy map usually consider what the users might think and feel, say, do and hear. If we think teachers are as designers, it will make sense for teachers to use an empathy map before designing their lessons. I searched several templates of empathy maps on the internet and finally created one that is suitable for myself.
This teacher empathy map that I created applied knowledge of Maslow's Hierarchy Needs and adopted current searchable empathy map templates on the internet. You can directly download the PDF by clicking the picture below.
Step 1: Synthesize needs
Step 2: Fill out the empathy map
- How is my relationship with my students?
- How will students feel when doing, seeing, thinking, hearing and saying things in the classroom?
Teachers review their notes and record their reflections and observations to complete the empathy map. We imagine what students might do, see, think, hear, and say in our classroom. I have included some possible questions to think. Each lesson is formative and by using an empathy map, we can establish emotional bonds with students and allow us to foster humility in teaching and learning.