Adoption of Humanistic Pedagogy to Leadership Education in Higher Education

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The leadership education and development of students and young professionals have become a composite focus area for many higher institutions, particularly business schools (Allen et al., 2022). This has consequently inspired an increase in research on the different approaches and frameworks for teaching leadership to students (Allen et al., 2022; Watkins et al. 2017). The use of humanistic pedagogy in leadership education is an approach that puts to perspective the four important viewpoints in teaching leadership - the educator, student, learning procedures, and learning circumstances - but places more emphasis on the human or humane end of the learning process and perceptions students hold about the world (Javadi & Tahmasbi, 2020; Purswell, 2019). Allen et al. (2022) asserted that relevant leadership skills such as problem-solving, relational, change, and innovation skills require a variety of humanistic approaches for students to fully embrace and internalize them. This approach prioritizes students' learning on the value of their self-identity and focuses on their full development (Rustan Effendi et al., 2020). Integral to humanistic pedagogy is the human learning theory that has its roots in the psychological study and observation of the individual student and their relationships with the learning environment (Purswell, 2019). Johnson (2014) asserted that this theory pays attention to the affective dimension of students such as their self-concept, individual values, and emotions; which are a natural extension of how they perceive and learn leadership. A conceptual review of selected literature revealed the following characteristics of humanistic learning theory: - Emphasis on the formation of the human values of students, the educators' ability to understand the student, the attention of educators to the emotions of students during a learning process, and the involvement of students throughout this process (Tolstova & Levasheva, 2019). - Prioritises these four elements - confidence in progress, reasons, inclusiveness, and focus on individualism (Rustan Effendi et al., 2020). - Giving students opportunities to take an interest in what is to be learned, ensuring self-directed learning, and creating a conducive learning environment (Johnson, 2014). Notably, Allen et al. (2022) posited that using humanistic pedagogy to teach leadership courses in higher education helps students become self-aware of their need for leadership education and value the importance of the concept of self-leadership. This further leads to students finding their purpose in leadership as against seeing leadership as a problem-solving approach (Waddock, 2016). Moreover, an essential aspect of adopting humanistic pedagogy in teaching leadership is that it inspires commitment to lifelong learning among leadership students that extends beyond their college education (Waddock, 2016).