Concept of human nature

Why do teachers need to consider the concepts of human nature?

To enlighten this further, look at the case study and give your responses.


16- year old girl gets pregnant while still attending school. She knows that the father of the child comes from different ethnic background than herself. Her parents do not know anything about it and she is too frightened to tell them. Basically, she is confused and cannot make any decisions. She goes to see the school nurse and tells her about the problem.

Consider what kind of respond the nurse would give when she/he represents a certain concept of human nature (see the list)

Some of the concepts (ideas, understandings) of human nature

  1. humanistic
  2. holistic
  3. biological
  4. sociological (e.g. Marxist, socialist, capitalist …)
  5. religional
  6. economical-technical
  7. technical- rational
  8. mechanistic
  9. cultural
  10. anthroposophical
  11. … …

Imagine you are the nurse in question. Choose at least three or more different concepts of human nature and give your responses. Write down your answers. Also consider the responses others have provided.

In short, teacher’s own understanding and beliefs of human nature has an affect on his/her teaching and understanding of learning. Just imagine what kind of teaching is expected from a teacher whose understanding of humans is strongly mechanistically oriented?

Look at ’Theory Grounds for Learning Approaches


Lerner, R.M. 2002. Concepts and Theories of Human Development.