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

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1011-3487