Worker Education Classes Emphasize Outcomes

Traditional educators always understood the notion of learning for its own sake as one of their vocation’s guiding principles. One learns a language or logical system because it stimulates the mind, they thought. Measurements of intellectual development prevailed. However, from the beginning, architects of South Africa’s sophisticated worker education classes program insisted growth rates and…

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Worker Education Builds Responsibility

It may not appear frequently among multiple choices, and students may not repeat it a thousand times as they build their portfolios, but “responsibility” remains the fundamental, essential, indispensible, pervasive, and ubiquitous word in worker education. Worker education prepares students not only to become more productive and efficient, but also to become progressively more responsible.…

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Well Beyond the Basics: Business Skills Development

The further they advance through the adult curriculum, the more students recognize how their skills connect and transfer. They also recognize how skills and knowledge are cumulative, laying foundations for and building upon one another. All of their adult education curricula could qualify as “business skills development,” because students’ acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills…

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Adult Basic Education

The success of all adult basic education depends, first, on instructors’ respect for students’ dignity. Disadvantaged students, who risk enrollment in adult basic education, often associate classrooms with intimidation, alienation, and humiliation. Adult basic education instructors must help their students feel safe, because learning involves risk, mistakes, trial and error, and constant practice—none of which…

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South African Workers Always Have Recognized the Value of Education

In the 1970s, when South African workers first organized to demand better wages and working conditions, they also demanded training in language and mathematics skills that would secure their places in the workforce. Through the eighties and early nineties, as South Africa evolved, adult education evolved with it. Workers, businessmen, politicians, and change agents agreed…

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Every Profession Demands Advanced Math Skills

No profession or academic discipline can develop and thrive without mathematics. Not even sophisticated study of literature and philosophy can advance without advanced math skills. Creating a Shakespearean sonnet, a poet embeds mathematical formulae in language, developing cadence, rhythm and meaning. Logical reasoning, the backbone of philosophy, derives from principles of geometric proof. Similarly, the…

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English Communication: The Currency of South African Culture and Commerce

The South African workforce arguably stands out as the world’s most ethnically diverse. The success of South Africa’s bold experiment in multi-cultural democracy depends, in large measure, on its success in developing common values, norms, and expectations among various elements in the workforce. Although South Africa wisely has adopted eleven “official” languages, sociologists emphasize the…

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