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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100


ISMAIL, Salma. Articulating a space for critical learning with a social justice orientation in an adult education programme. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2018, vol.38, n.4, pp.1-9. ISSN 2076-3433.

This article reflects on work as a radical-feminist adult educator and as part of a group of academics from 10 universities who have developed new national qualifications in the Adult Education Community and Training Sector (ACET) for Higher Education in South Africa. The qualification will respond to the training needs of Adult Education Community lecturers and practitioners, and thereby indirectly contribute to the education and training needs of the communities, unemployed adults and youth who require skills to find employment. In the design of this qualification we sought to ensure the inclusion in the qualification of the new policy requirements, critical transformative educational practices, and perspectives from community educators, as well as recent demands from students for a decolonised curriculum. Sometimes these frameworks are in contradiction to one another, particularly in a neo-liberal context in which education has a strong focus on the workplace. I provide evidence from a qualitative study on student motivations to study further that shows that whilst there is a concern with education for skills development to grow the economy, there are still present strong political motivations to learn on the part of students and therefore it is imperative to teach from all these standpoints.

Keywords : context; critical learning; education policy; social justice orientation; student motivations.

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