In 1943, one of the greatest frauds ever put upon man was published.
The article was A. H. Maslow's A Theory of Human Motivation.
Just as "modern" science has placed Man Made Global Warming on par with the most important thing any reasonable person would, or could, ever think, worry, consider, engage upon, Maslow offered that human dignity was inconsequential. That it was only the after product of the struggle against the indignities that we face on a daily basis, the worrying about finding a place to sleep, to find the food to eat, to clothe ourselves, to begin to educate ourselves, and that at the pinacle, our goal as humans was to find in ourselves a sense of being that transcended all other previous states.
This state, of transcendence, was referred to as self-actualization.
Basically, this sense of self-actualization has been present in literature since the beginning of literature. That it took until 1943 for us to realize--thanks to Maslow--that we wanted to know who we are/were is simply silly. But for anyone entering the field of Education after that point, it was necessary that we study Maslow and all of his new age theories. And the keystone of Maslow was his pyramid.
We like pyramids. Soon after Maslow's was introduced, we got the "food pyramid." Pyramids offered the consoling thought that we were building upon firm footing. After that we got such things as vitamin pyramids. Ecology pyramids. Education pyramids. Each purporting to show a relationship--moving upward--to each inevitable increase in proportion, while the area under the defined area was reduced. To become self-actualized was something that only few of us would be allowed, either through genetics or education, to achieve.
And the beauty of Maslow's pyramid wasn't that we all didn't find ourselves at the top of the chain immediately. The beauty was, we were all "becoming."
Self-actualization wasn't necessary. What was necessary was the process.
Any thinking man, woman or child was stuck in Maslow's world. What kind of day would, or could, a human have waking only to find that the near problem of physiological need would dictate the day's enterprise? Whether or not mere survival was rudimentary was lost. Simply providing for one's self, or one's family, was lost in the world of Maslow. To simply survive was blasphemy. To live to one's potential, one must slip the surly bonds of humanity, to achieve the "next" step of self-actualization. Which is in itself wrongfully asserted provinance.
The earth-shattering assertions of Maslow is nothing. Never was. I've always found more strength in Marcus Aurelius than I ever found in Maslow. Yet, Aurelius is not taught, and Maslow is. Did you ever wonder why?
Well, the question is important, since the theories of Maslow are a part of every college's education requirements. To gain a degree in Education requires one taking a Psych 201 course, in which Maslow is taught. To get an A requires a restatement of Maslow. It is pernicious and it is wrong. But educators don't buck the trend of the check. You want a check? Here is the curricula.
So, at every step of the way in the life of the young educator-to-be is this Maslow thingy. It is pyramidical. It is not sequential, nor is it logical. It is assertive. But we're beginning to find out that not all assertions are true. Yet, every successful educator has gone the the training necessary to adopt Maslow. Without exception.
A simple test; next time you have to appear at a "student/teacher" conference, ask the teacher whether or not they are employing Maslow's goals in their classroom work. They will, to a man or woman, assert that they are.
I call them idiots. You can call them whatever you like.