n South African Journal of Higher Education - A humanistic approach to South African accounting education

Volume 20, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



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.

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