South African Journal of Higher Education

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A humanistic approach to South African Accounting education

A West, S Saunders


Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers made a distinction between traditional
approaches and humanistic `learner-centred\' approaches to education. The
traditional approach holds that educators impart their knowledge to willing and
able recipients; whereas the humanistic approach holds that educators act as
facilitators who assist learners in their learning processes. As a learning theory,
humanism refers to the belief in the innate ability of humans to learn, and the
creation of an environment in which students are given `Freedom to Learn\'. South
African accounting education has, by and large, followed the traditional approach
rather than the humanistic approach. This article attempts to expand on the existing
references to a humanistic approach through a more detailed exposition and
application of the educational theory of Carl Rogers in the context of South African
accounting education. The prospects of a humanistic approach in accounting
education are then discussed and some practical strategies provided in relation to a
specific third-year undergraduate accounting unit offered in South Africa.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 20 (5) 2006: pp. 718-732
AJOL African Journals Online