If you have some ideas, suggestions, or resource tips related to this topic, or if you would just would like to converse with me, feel free to send me an electronic message.

When you begin the process of studying the field of adult education, especially if seeking an advanced graduate certificate or degree related to the topic, it is not unusual to enroll in a related graduate course, such as Foundations of Adult Education: Critical and contemporary Issues. Such a course introduces the learner to the field, its literature and resources, to adult education agencies and programs, to the types of learners and professionals or volunteers working in the field, and the multitude of related critical, contemporary, and even controversial issues. In addition, students typically develop a foundational statement of philosophy as an adult educator, visit adult education agencies, interview adult learners, read about the field, and carry out some type of major project, write a major paper, or design through learning contracts some way of obtaining an overview of the field. They often work in face to face or online teams, so here are some ideas on how to be successful in team activities. Here is some information on how to get the most out of a graduate program.

The primary texts for the foundational course at Le Moyne College are the following:

Sharon B. Merriam and André Grace, Contemporary Issues in Adult Education (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2011).

Sharan B. Merriam and Ralph G. Brockett, The Profession And Practice Of Adult Education: An Introduction (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2007).

Ralph G. Brockett and Roger Hiemstra, Toward Ethical Practice (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company, 2004).

If you don’t already have one, it is recommended that all students in the course obtain an email account and be prepared to access Blackboard or whatever online course support system your university utilizes. Your college typically provides you with such computer accounts. To obtain a free Internet based email account accessible through the World Wide Web, try Google's gmail system or Microsoft's hotmail system. Such systems allow you to set up your account and then access it from any work station that can access the web. Thus, even if you don't have a computer at home or an email account via the college or some local carrier, you can set up this email account just by visiting your local library and using its work stations that typically are connected to the Web or perhaps you have access to a similar setup at your place of work. This also is a good backup system to read your regular email if you are on the road.

Following are some useful links if you would like some general information on the field.

An exploration of adult and continuing education in relation to lifelong learning concepts.

Various definitions of adult education. More definitions.

The American Association for Adult and Continuing Education.

The national Adult Education and Literacy page.

Eduard Lindeman’s meaning of adult education.

A chronology of landmarks in the history and development of adult education

An adult education history project.

History of the national Adult Education Act.

I have developed a page related to information on past adult education leaders.

Here is a great 1851 book on the history of adult education.

A short cut history of adult education through a question and answer format.

This "informal education" site provides some overview information on adult education.

The AskERIC and Educator’s Reference Desk will help you find a variety of information about adult education and other topics.

A chapter I wrote on translating personal values and philosophy into action.

A PowerPoint presentation to help people understand more about developing a personal philosophy.

Much information on transformative learning.

Fordham University’s archive of podcasts related to lifelong learning, transformative learning, and technology.

John Henschke’s perspectives on international adult education.

A resource on self-directed learning and the International Journal of Self-Directed Learning.

New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development

A government piece on international trends in adult education and lifelong learning.

The Adult Education Research Conference (AERC) proceedings. It contains the proceedings or abstracts for papers from past conferences.

Here is some information on Andragogy, including an annotated bibliography, an important topic within the adult education field.

Here is information related to Howard McClusky's theory of margin. Here is information related to two articles written about Howard, one published in Lifelong Learning and one published in Educational Gerontology. Finally, here is a conference paper related to some of Howard's early work in adult education.

Here is a good resource page developed by an Adult Education graduate.

A presentation I made in 1986 about adult education and the adult educator of the future. How much of what I projected has come true?

Finally, I made a presentation to graduate students and faculty related to adult education and educational leadership at Florida Atlantic University several years ago. In the airplane on the way down I was thinking about my presentation and wanted to come up with something to finish it with. Following, are Roger's Ten Top "P's" for what it takes to be an excellent professional adult educator:

1.      Perseverence - staying with the process of being a better professional; learning to do better as you grow and develop as an experienced educator of adults

2.      Pride - pride in yourself, pride in your profession; this includes learning to love yourself and recognize the personal attributes you have; it also may need to include reading personal development books

3.      Patience - with yourself, with learners; remember that something like becoming a highly proficient and skilled self-directed learner takes time

4.      Patterns for success - there are existing models for teaching or training adults that work; individualizing the instructional process, self-directed learning, etc. are some of them; find a mentor that understands these various patterns or models and seek guidance

5.      Persnickety - become more organized and disciplined in what you do; depending on your personality style, this may take lots of effort, but it is worth it

6.      Preparation/preparedness - do your homework, practice everything before you do it, refuse to "wing" it when you are working with adult learners

7.      Personal philosophy - develop a personal philosophy statement, statement of personal ethics, and/or a personal statement of professional commitment that will serve as the foundation for what you do in the future (see a chapter on writing a personal philosophy statement or a section on creating ethical or professional commitment statements.)

8.      Presentation skill development - continuously work on developing your platform skills; seek feedback, obtain evaluations, video tape yourself, etc.

9.      Professionalism - develop your professional writing skills, join and participate in a professional association, contribute to your profession in various ways, understand professional standards that apply to you, develop a personal portfolio

10.  Potentiality - strive to live up to the potential that is within you; I truly believe there is a greatness in each of us that only remains to be unlocked, to be developed; you can do it!!!


Revised May 2, 2013

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