Bringing Maslow screaming into the 2012s: Maslow’s Model Rewired for Social Media

Peter Allen (The Learning Wave)  shared this great article, prefaced by the comment “Came across this interesting article …  brings Maslow screaming into the 2012’s…. “.

To give you a taster of the article here is a couple of paragraphs and the ‘rewired diagram’ (from Social Networks: What Maslow Misses by Pamela Rutledge :

“Needs are not hierarchical.  Life is messier than that.  Needs are, like most other things in nature, an interactive, dynamic system, but they are anchored in our ability to make social connections.”

Maslow’s Model Rewired for Social Media

“None of Maslow’s needs can be met without social connection….Maslow’s model needs rewiring so it matches our brains.  Belongingness is the driving force of human behavior, not a third tier activity.  The system of human needs from bottom to top, shelter, safety,sex, leadership, community, competence and trust, are dependent on our ability to connect with others.  Belonging to a community provides the sense of security and agency that makes our brains happy and helps keep us safe”.

What is being said here closely aligns with findings from a research study that is being conducted alongside the Virtual Professional Learning and Development programme (VPLD – you can find out more here if you are interested). If you have a look at this diagram (link here), you’ll see that, except for the food, shelter, and sex part of the ‘rewired model’ all of these aspects are present – even if they are referred to with different terminology. What was also evident was that people entered the cycle (green boxes on the inside of the diagram), and all developed at different speeds. Wonder what the implications are for programmes of learning, and their design, facilitation and evaluation in the future?

Thanks for the thought provoking article, Peter.

About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ ( I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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