This Capstone Paper examines the experiences of four North American trainers who have worked in South Africa. Through semi-structured interviews with each trainer, a literature review description and analysis of training, its goals and assumptions, and analysis of popular education theory developed by Paolo Friere and its influence on training, this paper attempts to answer the research questions: What are the experiences of four North American trainers in South Africa? What training models, approaches and methods are used by these trainers? Are such methods and approaches transferable to and effective in the South African context? How have trainers sought to make their training cross-culturally relevant? And, finally, what are the implications for future practitioners in the training field?

The paper concludes that the four trainers interviewed used a combination of Prescriptive and Elicitive training models, but more reliant on the prescriptive model. Practicality and lack of adequate training time has made it difficult for trainers to incorporate culturally relevant approaches in their work. Three of the four trainers have been influenced by the popular education theory of Paolo Freire and two integrated some of his educational principles into their work. This paper adds to the body of knowledge available to students and professionals in the field of cross-cultural training, sustainable development and intercultural relations. It concludes with a critique of training as it is currently practiced in South Africa, and presents questions and concerns regarding the future of training as a tool for social change in South Africa and developing nations around the world.


International and Intercultural Communication