Martha Nandari, Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana

A Humanistic Approach to Teaching and Learning

Martha Nandari brings a humanistic approach to her teaching at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, where she serves as a senior lecturer in the English Language Education Program. She draws on the ideas of twentieth-century psychologists Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, who believed an environment that minimizes anxiety and maximizes personal security will help students build confidence and independent learning skills. “The humanistic approach, which stresses egalitarian and democratic principles, and promotes power sharing between teachers and learners, seems to support education for the whole person,” she said.

That approach is still possible, Ms. Nandari finds, even as the pandemic has shifted her classes to an online environment. She has been relying on Facebook to create a welcoming environment for her students, as she explained in an August webinar on “Integrating Whole Person Education in the Online Environment.” “Students are already familiar with Facebook, so they are comfortable using it,” she said. “It’s user friendly, so it can create a nonthreatening class atmosphere and reduce anxiety.” This helps alleviate some of the stress that students may be experiencing during the pandemic.

Ms. Nandari created Facebook groups for her critical reading and professional narrative writing classes. Through these groups, she can share files, encourage students to post comments, watch a video with her students, or create rooms and walls for discussions. Facebook also facilitates an easy exchange of greetings, advice, and ideas – all of which help a teacher build a rapport with her students and students connect with each other. Even technical difficulties, such as uploading large files when Internet connectivity is low, can be valuable: students will look to each other, rather than the teacher, for guidance in solving these problems.

Ms. Nandari encourages other educators to see the value of a humanistic approach. “In whatever conditions, during or after the pandemic, having a positive attitude toward our students, respecting them, building good relationships and trust, humbling ourselves by being facilitators instead of the only source of knowledge, may help boost the students’ independent knowledge and confidence.”

To view Ms. Nandari’s webinar presentation, click here.

To view other presentations made at the “Integrating Whole Person Education in the Online Environment” webinar, click here.