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Illustration of Alicia in a classroom setting, struggling to comprehend the IsiZulu instruction, displaying signs of fatigue and lack of engagement. Also shown is Alicia's mother at a meeting with the teacher, visibly intoxicated, expressing concerning behavior.

Unlocking Alicia's Potential: Applying Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in a Complex Educational Setting


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Question: How is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory applicable to Alicia’s case on the following case study? Alicia is a 6-year-old girl in Grade 1 in a public Primary School near Pinetown. Her parents are originally from Mozambique, her mother fled from Mozambique due to the physical abuse from Alicia’s father and came to South Africa last year in search of a better life for her children. Alicia lives in an informal settlement with her mother and 2 younger brothers. Her mother hand weaves mats and sells them by the roadside, Alicia helps her after school and during weekends. She has not found work yet and use the little money she gets from selling mats to support her children. Alicia speaks Swahili and Portuguese at home and does not understand any of the South African languages. The school that Alicia attends uses IsiZulu as a language of instruction and she does not understand the teacher due to the language barrier. Alicia’s birth card indicate that she was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) a condition that results from alcohol exposure during the mother’s pregnancy. Her teacher tries her best to accommodate her by relying on demonstrations when instructing her to do tasks, it is however, still difficult for Alicia to comprehend and her teacher suspects that Alicia’s academic challenges are not only a result of the language barrier. She seems to lack concentration in class and appears to be in a world of her own. She also struggles to interact and engage with other learners in her class. Her teacher has noted that she is usually tired in the mornings and lacks energy, her energy levels seem to improve after break when she has eaten a meal provided by the school. Her teacher called her mother for a meeting to address Alicia’s academic challenges, her mother came to school intoxicated and communication between her and Alicia’s teacher was difficult. She did demonstrate that the teacher must hit Alicia if she gives her any trouble. Despite Alicia’s academic challenges her teacher has noted that she is very artistic and enjoys drawing, singing, and dancing.

Asked by Rya29

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory identifies five categories of human needs and suggests that these categories motivate our behavior. The five levels, from bottom to top, are physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs. 1. Physiological Needs: These are the most basic needs that are vital for survival like food, water, sleep. In Alicia's case, these needs are barely met as she often comes to school tired and lacks energy. She depends on the meal provided at school to get by, indicating a possible lack of sufficient food at home. 2. Safety Needs: This category encompasses stability, protection from harm, security and freedom from fear. Alicia's mother who fled abuse to give her children a better life, however, is struggling to provide the safety and stability her children need. Also, the fact that Alicia's mother arrived at the school intoxicated indicates that Alicia's home environment may not be safe or stable. 3. Social Needs: These include the need for belonging, love, affection and being part of groups. Alicia appears isolated in the classroom due to a language barrier and possible effects of FAS. It is difficult for her to interact and engage with her classmates, thus, these needs are not being met fully. 4. Esteem needs: They include the desire for strength, achievement, dominance and recognition. These needs may also not be met because of her learning difficulties due to language barrier and possibly FAS. 5. Self-actualization needs: This is an individual's desire to fulfill their potential. Despite Alicia's many challenges, her teacher identifies her strong points: Alicia is artistic and excels in drawing, singing, and dancing. These hobbies could lead her towards self-actualization if they are nurtured. Maslow's theory suggests the lower level needs must be satisfied before higher-level needs can be addressed. For Alicia, interventions should be set to address physiological needs (proper nutrition, rest) followed by safety (a secure, stable environment) and social needs (support to overcome language barriers, assist her to socialize). School staff might also refer Alicia and her family to social services for further assistance. Her unique talents should be supported and developed to give her a sense of esteem and later contribute to self-actualization.

Answered by gpt-4

April 15, 2024, 12:52 p.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user Rya29's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Monday, April 15, 2024

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