Holding onto Transformative Practices in a University

Musings of a Feminist Popular Educator
Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies Series book series (CFS)


This chapter reflects on the challenges and strategies of holding onto critical transformative educational practices in an adult education program at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in postapartheid South Africa, which is following neoliberal economic policies. Generally speaking, in the context of the antiapartheid struggle in the 1980s, most students were strongly motivated to “learn for liberation”; in the 1990s and the early 2000s, under a new legitimate, democratic government, they were optimistic and preoccupied with the reconstruction of the society. Over the last few years, however, I have observed changes in adult students’ behavior, both in their motivations for further study and in their curricula and pedagogical choices. Although student motivations still reflect the basic preoccupations of working “to empower people” and “toward a better South Africa” (student interviews 2005-9), there has been a change in emphasis from them wanting to make a contribution to “a more just society for all” to wanting to earn a better place in society for themselves.


Social Movement Adult Education Feminist Pedagogy Formal Context Informal Trader 
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© Linzi Manicom and Shirley Walters 2012

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