n South African Journal of Higher Education - Analysing career counselling in a South African setting : exploring the utility of a model from Activity Theory

Volume 23, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article integrates previous research findings and theory to reflect on the limitations of traditional career counselling for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It highlights the many challenges faced by students as they adjust to the university environment, and proposes a constructivist approach as more appropriate for career counsellors. It illustrates the use of a model from Activity Theory to analyse the provision of career counselling at a student counselling centre, compared to that embedded in an access programme on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu Natal. Students' responses to the interventions are included and the utility of a developmental contextual career group process is described. The Activity Theory model is proposed as a conceptual tool to evaluate career counselling from a constructivist perspective.

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