Have you heard of the saying “You must Maslow before you can Bloom“? In simple terms, it is a neat way of saying that our most basic physiological and social emotional needs (eg. feeling safe, cared for and respected) are the necessary precursors for higher order thinking and learning

While the ‘Maslow before Bloom’ quote has been around in educational circles for decades, its significance came into sharp relief last year as we all rapidly upskilled and adapted to a new order of operation during a time of heightened anxiety and stress. For many of us, our experiences of the Covid pandemic raised important existential questions. We were reminded of our own humanity and values, as we all found ourselves – both learners and educators alike – in the same challenging situation. 

As we move into 2021, the Teaching and Curriculum Team in IML invite you to think with us about how we can take what we have learnt – about ourselves, our students, our learning environments, and our society – to actively grow UTS into a compassionate university. 

We are interested in hearing from you and sharing practices that humanise the learning environment, build community and connection, and make a difference to students’ sense of feeling connected, cared for and respected at UTS.  

Belonging at UTS – what’s to come!

To get the conversation started, the first Hot Topic Forum for 2021 is on Building in belonging and engagement – cultivating the compassionate university. On Tuesday February 9th, we will discuss how we can better create hospitable and engaging learning environments, and engage students in community-building exercises that foster their sense of belonging.

Together, we will explore the recently published resource How and why to humanise your online class, which foregrounds the four principles of trust, empathy, awareness and presence. And we will hear from international speaker, Associate Professor Maha Bali on community-building strategies in the online and blended classroom.  

You might also be interested in the upcoming webinar, Designing for Kindness in Canvas (February 17) where we will hear from  another international speaker, Kona Jones, who will share the strategies she uses within the Canvas learning environment that help our students feel cared for. 

Throughout February we will be featuring several blogs in the ‘Belonging at UTS’ series, with topics ranging from supporting students via the Embedding English Language program to preparing Indigenous students for the Bachelor of Business Administration course.

If you would like to contribute resources or webinars specific to the theme of belonging, please contact Alisa.Percy@uts.edu.au.

Join the discussion