Facilitating Adult Learners in the Legal Sciences Department at a South African University

Deidre, J.

Abstract:
Since 1994, after the abolishment of “Apartheid” more black adult learners have access to and have enrolled for further studies at Institutions of Higher Learning in South Africa. Some of them start with tertiary studies for the first time several years after they completed their schooling, others return to a university in order to further their studies years after completion of undergraduate studies mainly at historically black universities. Adult learners are persons who are already in industry or practice, with their own work experience to draw from and must therefore be facilitated in a specific way. There are still a number of educators in higher education that have not made a paradigm shift to innovative teaching and learning methodology and adjustment to accommodate the learning styles of black adult students. The Department of Legal Sciences at the Vaal University of Technology has a large contingent of part time adult students and these students necessitate, to a large extent, a different manner of teaching and learning to the teaching and learning methodology used for the full time young adult students. This article addresses the learning styles of adult learners with specific reference to black adult learners in South Africa. Their educational needs, specific challenges and expectations are also addressed. In addition, the article talks to the importance of training of lecturers in teaching and learning methodology and the requisite assistance to lecturers, in order to enable them to address the learning styles, challenges and expectations of adult learners. By initialising the implementation of the recommendations of the author, the Department of Legal Sciences are endeavouring to ensure that the adult learners transform from students to learners by becoming active participants in their own learning experience and develop self-regulated learning.

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  • Deidre, J. (2012). Facilitating Adult Learners in the Legal Sciences Department at a South African University. International Journal of Social Sciences, I(1), 55–64.

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