Need hierarchy theory. This theory advocates that the needs of an individual can be categorized and ordered in hierarchy from lower needs to higher needs that are attained in stages. The higher needs cannot be fulfilled before the lower needs are met and this influences ones behavior. The order of needs is established based on their importance from simple to more complex ones. The more a person grows in the level of satisfaction of needs the more a person becomes wholesome in handling him/her as well as other societal needs.
The hierarchy of needs is as follows starting from the least to more complex:
- Physiological needs (basic needs such as food, clothing, sleep, thirst…)
- Safety Needs (these include security, shelter, health…)
- Social Needs ( the need for association, belonging, love, friendship)
- Achievement Needs ( the need for recognition, self respect and esteem)
- Self Actualization Needs ( the satisfaction that one has achieved his dreams, goals and aspirations in life)
Physiological Needs. These refer to the basic needs of an individual like the need for food, clothing, thirst and sleep, among others. These are considered the earliest and simplest needs that a person can desire to be met. These are the first levels of needs that human beings seek to meet in everyday life. They are the first motivators of any meaningful human activity since they form the basis of the existence of every person and define the boundaries of their operations. Once they have met consistently, one can graduate to seek the fulfillment of the other needs as he/she is now comfortable.
Most of the stakeholders in education have come up with polices that not only aim at ensuring access to education, but also make effort in incorporating systems that help meet these needs in institutions through feeding programmes, making provision for access to food at affordable rates, building hostels to ensure that people meet these needs as they learn. No one can fully concentrate in class when worried bout where the next meal will come from or when tired. Women pursuing higher education are recommended to be able to be having part-time jobs or undertaking the education on evening classes (Svinicki, 2004).
Safety Needs. These refer to the desire to be safe, secure and comfortable. This is achieved when one has appropriate shelter, has access to medical care, and has a healthy lifestyle. This is achieved through having a house, avoiding danger or compromising situations. This has been incorporated in learning institutions and the higher the quality, the more effective it is in facilitating learning.
Women can make great accomplishments when assured that these are catered for as it sets them free to pursue their ambitions and dreams. The education policies should incorporate the safety of a person like access to medication, security by building hostels and affordable accommodation to women who have proved to be a vulnerable group. The learning institutions should offer quality education in a secure environment. Once these needs are met one then pursues the next level of needs (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 2003).
Social Needs. These refer to the satisfaction of being loved and loving another person. These include having a companion, friendship and a sense of belonging to a family, a group of close acquaintances among others. A person receives fulfillment of these needs when they help him/her develop a sense of worth, origin and the warmth of affection.
These must be incorporated in the education policies in order to facilitate the forming of friends and close associations that are helpful in ensuring the fulfillment of these needs for one to be motivated towards education. It is evident in the contemporary society that schools are one of the major areas where genuine friends are formed. Institutions of higher learning are areas that join people of similar academic interests and social environment that allows one to socialize freely while pursuing academic goals (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 2003).
In pursuit of success in life, one needs to attain a balanced life in all aspects of their lives. Social life therefore plays a significant role in doing this. It is recommended that one may not perform exceptionally excellent but has achieved a balance and one is able to relate well with others and with the society. Online studies are a common phenomenon these days as they seem convenient to most people however costly they may be. The disadvantage with it is that one does it as loners which explain the high levels of stress that has been witnessed in recent years. This is because the individuals talks to no one but the lecturer and thus have no where to vent out pressures that they may be facing even though they attain their grades and get their degrees (Svinicki, 2004). This necessitates a social environment to meet such needs.
Achievement Needs. This encompasses the desire to have self respect and self esteem resulting from the attainment of certain goals that one has set for him/herself. This is a desire to be recognized as of value and the sense of worth that come from the individual’s capabilities and talents and every form of exceptionality that an individual may possess.
This need, when met should give a person a sense of being of importance and respect as an individual and its enhanced by the educational accomplishments on has attained. The educational system of any country is aimed to transform its citizens into people of significant roles in the society.
This is enhanced by entrusting them with responsibilities like leadership, participation in major activities and projects and giving them an opportunity to be of help to the society. Women empowerment should be a target in every educational system especially eradicating gender biases in giving chances to further studies. This can go a long way in motivating women to pursue and complete their studies. After these needs are met progressively, one can freely pursue the next level of need (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 2003).
Self Actualization Needs. This has to do with the realization of one’s life goals and ambitions. This is the highest and most complex needs that one can attain. It is the combination of all the other needs and the height of their pursuit. This need is what education enhances as one seeks to find hi/her place in the society in consideration of the desires in ones heart as it relates to the area one has studied.
Education should train a person to develop into wholesome person able to fit well in the society. This is possible especially with great inputs from the individual person who will be the final beneficiary in all these. Few people have attained this level of need with majority stuck at the third level of need.
Women, by the virtue of their exceptional mental ability, can attain this level of need w hen well motivated through schooling, mentorship and appropriate direction given. The ones who have achieved this need are philanthropists, great leaders, and multimillion business entrepreneurs among others. The success of such should motivate other women to actualize their dreams and achieve their missions in life.
This theory can be considered a motivational theory as it has some practicalities in it and can be applied to the women for their benefit.