The Societal Role of Adult and Continuing Education


The Historical Importance of Adult Education

Historians have long known and written about the educational pursuits of the adult person. Education of the preliterate person in history was associated with religion. The notable societies that developed in Greece, Rome, Europe, and Great Britain facilitated study, expression in the arts, and personal growth for the elite or privileged person throughout his or her life. Thus, it can be argued that adult education has always been a natural part of civilization.

The American Story

Adult and continuing education has been an important part of many people's lives since the beginning of the American society. From what is known of life in the United States during the 1600s and 1700s, lifelong learning was a necessity because of the continued need for skilled people and because of the struggle for maturity as an independent country.

One of the earliest known adult education institutions was the Junto, a discussion club started by Benjamin Franklin and a few of his friends. The purpose of the discussions was to explore a variety of intellectual problems in the pursuit of self-growth and improvement. The first American public library is thought to have been an offshoot of the Junto organization.

The lyceum movement in the early 1800s was another important contributing force to the development of adult education in the United States. Initiated by a Mr. Josiah Holbrook in Connecticut, lyceums were local study groups with the purpose of facilitating self-improvement of participants. Speakers' bureaus, local service clubs, parent-teacher associations, and the Great Books study groups were influenced in some way or descended from the lyceum movement.

The Chautauqua movement developed in the late 1800s was an adult education pioneer effort that eventually affected small towns and rural areas throughout the United States. Originally conceived of as a religious adult education summer school for Sunday school teachers on Lake Chautauqua in western New York State, the concept became so popular that the intent and programs were enlarged to provide education on a variety of topics. Eventually, the notion of providing lecturers, cultural experiences, and entertainment was made mobile and brought to small towns and rural areas throughout many parts of the country by means of a tent show circuit. Although most of the Chautauqua movement ended by the turn of the twentieth century, the original Chautauqua Institution still thrives and the tent show idea has been recently revived in some parts of the country.

There have been many other adult education programs or agencies of importance to the present-day state of the art that were initiated in the past century. The development of the Cooperative Extension Service, university extension programs, public libraries, Americanization programs, and ABE/GED efforts are only a partial listing of the many important branches of a developing field. The interested reader is referred to various bibliographic citations at the end of this chapter related to the history and development of adult education.

The 1950s and 1960s

The 1950s and 1960s are singled out as a special period because so many changes related to adult education occurred. Foundations began to take notice of the needs of adults throughout the country and gave support for a variety of adult and continuing education activities. The Carnegie Corporation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Mott Foundation were some of the leaders in promoting adult education at the state and local community level. In addition, the Ford Foundation established and supported the Fund for Adult Education, an organization that promoted research, program and materials development, and a variety of experimental programs.

The Adult Education Association of the USA (AEA) was formed in 1950. The National Association of Public School Adult Educators (NAPSAE--eventually called the National Association for Public Continuing and Adult Education, NAPCAE) was established in 1952. Together those two organizations were primary forces in shaping the field as it is today. They supported research, developed or supported much of the recent literature of the field, provided a base for study and discussion pursuant to the growth of the field, and established a liaison relationship with federal and state programs. The two associations merged in 1982 to form the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE).

Perhaps one of the most significant events to take place was the federal enactment of the Adult Education Act of 1965. The legislation provided federal support to, and recognition of, adult education as a necessary part of living. Adult Basic Education programs have been established in every state as a result, with millions of adults having been assisted throughout the years since then. A million or more people each year are now being helped with the development of learning skills and increased abilities through ABE programs.

The act also stimulated a variety of other programs, interest in adult education, and support at the state and local levels. General Educational Development (GED) programs for high school equivalency study, adult career education, adult basic education in a variety of institutions, increased educational opportunity for minority people and migrant workers, workplace learning, family literacy programs, and increased general adult education activity in many agencies and organizations are a partial listing of the greater activity. Although many adults in the United States still possess inadequate educations and inefficient learning skills, the act gave a big boost to adult education.

The fifties and the sixties also were a period in which graduate adult education received much attention and experienced considerable growth. Chapter 5 explains in some detail the status of graduate programs for adult education throughout the United States. It should be noted here that professionalism in adult education, the development of a body of literature, and research specific to adult education obtained much impetus during the fifties and sixties.

How This History Has Shaped the Field

Almost every important development related to the adult education field has stemmed from an earlier development or has led to another major development. For example, vestigial elements of the Junto can be seen in the library. The lyceum, and even the Junto, had some influence on the Great Books study program. Literacy training for the enormous influx of immigrants during the early 1900s was eventually developed into the current Adult Basic Education program and various volunteer literacy training programs. Such linking aspects of the movement have provided shape and form to the field.

It is interesting to note, too, that the primary reasons for establishing adult education programs during the birth and beginning maturation of the country were the need for lifelong learning and the need for self-growth and self-expression. Both needs can be seen as the basic foundation for most adult education programs today (see Chapters 1 and 4).

Most of the important developments of an adult education nature that have taken place throughout this country's maturation have also helped to formulate a philosophy by which many adult educators operate today. This philosophy centers on the idea that each adult is a unique individual possessing unlimited potential. Thus, the role of the adult educator becomes one of helping individuals discover their own needs and of providing a learning environment where learners can meet their needs through such techniques as Great Books discussion, study groups, on-line asynchronous discussion opportunites, and the use of libraries and other community resources.

The early forms of adult education in the United States provided a solid foundation for the growth and maturation being experienced in present society. However, society continues to change and the adult education movement must change with it if the heritage of the present will be the historical foundation of a better tomorrow. The next section of this chapter and the final chapter contain additional discussion related to change and the future of adult education.

The Changing American Society

The dynamic quality of societal change is a reality faced by most people every day of their lives. The "Future Shock" theme, the problems of the cities, increasing bureaucracy and institutional complexity, rising crime rates and social disorder, and the frustrations of inflation coupled with ever looming energy or environmental crises are all grim reminders of the rapidity and complexity of social change. September 11, 2001, even brought a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities existing for everyday life. The purpose of this section is to explore several aspects of the changing American society as they create forces related to current and future adult education needs.

Rural to Urban Movement

It should be no secret to any American that society has changed in its makeup drastically in the past few decades. A nation that was nearly 90 percent rural in the early 1900s is now almost entirely urban in makeup, with most of those remaining in rural settings very cosmopolitan in nature because of transportation, education, and communication advances.

The urban movement has remained dynamic, however, as many of those who become affluent move away from inner city areas toward the "suburbs." This has created sprawling residential complexes with concomitant problems related to public transportation needs, run-down inner city areas, and difficulties in maintaining a variety of city services.

The sprawling nature of urban growth has also resulted in systems of cities becoming tied together over huge masses of land. Referred to by some as megalopoli, these systems of cities have often resulted in unique city entities becoming almost indistinguishable from each other. Such settings already exist around larger cities, such as Dallas, New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Experts suggest many more such settings are developing or will develop in the future (see Figure 2.1). Add to this the continual influx of immigrants and the multiple languages spoken in the country and the problems continue to multiply.

The Character of Urban Communities

Nearly 90 percent of all the people in the United States live on about 1 percent of the land. Furthermore, such individuals are by and large very mobile in nature. Such a situation has resulted in what might be called a "tense" society. A tenseness that frequently erupts into violence, clashes of values, and peoples in constant search of personal values and a place in society.

Another characteristic of the urban community is the tremendous and rapid increase in the number of groups and organizations. If desired, a person can belong to any number of local groups, some of which can be very diverse in nature. At the same time, due to the mobility and the closeness each separate community has with the total society because of rapid transportation and television, each person can have multiple contacts and affiliations with groups or organizations outside the local community. However, this situation of many group ties and links with outside forces often works to weaken individual ties to a locality and makes understanding the nature of the urban community quite difficult. Throw in the high stress of much of today's life, and the difficulties only increase.

What will become of the nature of the urban community in future years? There is considerable evidence that urban communities will continue to change. Planned or experimental communities are being developed across the country. Such communities strive to provide most daily needs, including recreational opportunities, within short walking distance of one's home. Perhaps communities of this nature will become the norm in the future.

At the same time, there is increasing interest throughout the United States in revitalizing deteriorating urban cores of larger cities. A wiser use of land, multiple usage of such necessities as parking lots and city reservoirs, self-contained (most daily service needs contained within a complex) public and private housing complexes, and redoing worn-out or run-down inner city businesses are taking place in numerous locations. The careful planning and coordination of similar activities throughout the country should make the urban areas better places in which to live.

Changing Population Trends

Several demographic changes are taking place in the American society .The rapid and apparently unmanageable growth rates of only a few years ago have been reversed to the point that the United States has a much slower population growth. Such a phenomenon is advantageous for a number of ecological reasons, but the ramifications for our economy and for our educational system are not yet fully understood.

At the same time, people are definitely living longer. Longer lives usually mean longer periods of leisure. Consequently, several writers have wondered what will happen to our values and our place in the world if we become a leisure society. (Chapter 8 has more discussion of the amount of available leisure.) A related point is that senior citizens or retired people are increasingly demanding more rights, including the right for more adult education opportunities. The subsequent implications for the adult education profession are just beginning to be felt and are not very well understood thus far.

Another change taking place within the American population is the search for self-actualization. Call it the back-to-earth movement or a radical change in societal values, the fact of the matter is that an increasingly larger number of adults are studying new philosophies for life, are participating in self-awareness activities, and are experimenting with drastic changes in their lifestyles. (Chapter 8 also has more discussion on this change.) The challenge to adult and continuing educators is learning how to constructively facilitate efforts by adults related to personal growth and changing lifestyles.

The Character of the American Citizen

It should be obvious to the reader that the character of the American citizen cannot be adequately described in one small section of a single chapter. Throughout the United States there are Archie Bunker types, John Wayne heroes, liberated men and women, and average John or Jane Does. Such a mixture of individuals and the difficulties of a constantly changing American society make the provision of human services and educational programs a complex task.

The general well-being and steadily increasing Gross National Product (GNP) of the fifties and early sixties and then again in the nineties tended to give many people in the United States a fairly confident sense that all was well. It took the "Great Society " efforts of the mid-sixties to rock people out of their easy chairs and then the dot com company busts and financial accounting scandals of the first part of the 21st century to really shake our confidences. All at once, the total American society was made aware that masses of people lived in poverty, ghettoes, and despair, with little hope of ever changing their status, and the fact that radical financial swings are possible.

As one now takes a look at where we are, several questions can be legitimately asked: What happened? Where did we go wrong? Why are there still so many disadvantaged, poor, and undereducated people in this country? What is the financial future for millions? The answers to these questions are not easy to find if, indeed, they can be found at all.

As a matter of fact, there is considerable evidence to support the contention that we have lost ground in many ways in recent decades. Some even have suggested that the rise and fall of the American society is underway. In many respects very little progress has been achieved in upgrading the educational level of the population, solving illiteracy problems, and decreasing dropout rates. In addition, the poor are still poor and even more so--in fact, many people now suggest that we are closer than ever to a two-class society, the very rich and the very poor. Finally, the federal and state dollars available as support to the less-than-affluent are becoming more scarce every day because of revolts against high taxes, runaway inflation worries, fears pertaining to the "welfare" society, and ever-increasing political battles between the two major parties.

The character of the American citizen always seems to have been one of perseverance in the light of adversity, stubbornness in the light of immense obstacles, and confidence that any problem will eventually be solved. If such a character is to prevail it would appear that a considerable effort will be needed as this society starts the 21st Century. It is the contention of this author that each person's relationship to lifelong learning is an important ingredient in making such an effort successful.

The Modern Family's Lifelong Learning Needs

The Changing Family Structure

The structure of the American family is in an apparently constant stage of evolution. The mobile nuclear family, the disappearance of the extended family, the ever-increasing divorce rate, the large number of married couples with only two, one, or even no children, and the variety of experimental family arrangements being tried throughout the United States are some of the current features of this change.

Within the nuclear family setting itself, considerable change also has taken place in the past few decades. Although observable differences in the roles played by fathers and those assumed by mothers still exist, many fathers are moving away from an " authority " stance to one of a loving, caring parent who acts toward the child in many ways similar to the mother. In addition, a majority of mothers are working part-time or full-time outside of the home presenting various kinds of child care challenges. Many others have experienced a new concept of self and personal worth that has resulted in a different relationship with children and husband in the home.

Even given the change that has taken place and the change that will no doubt continue to occur, the demise of the family unit does not seem likely. Nearly 90 percent of all residents in the United States live in some sort of a family setting. The family structure will most likely survive as a basic institution of American life.

What the evolutionary change of the American family will produce in the future is only speculation at this point. What is clear, however, is that the changes of the past few decades have put new demands on parents and their roles in contributing to the development of children in the home. Most of these demands and roles are related to the initial and continuing education of the children.

The Family's Role in Education

Each child's initial look at life is through the family setting. Basic needs of food, shelter, safety, and love are fulfilled primarily by parents in the home environment. In addition, in the early years of life a person is taught values, learns what is expected of self and others, and has individual abilities fostered.

Perhaps the most important function of parents is nurturing the intellectual development of their children. One researcher found that the following development takes place in terms of the amount of intelligence that can be measured by age 17: About 50 percent of such development takes place between conception and age 4. In addition to playing a role in stimulating intellectual growth, parents are also important ingredients in the development of a child's physical, social, and emotional growth.

Thus, from a purely educational view the first few years of life are extremely important; later success in life is often related to the roles parents played in that early life and to the type of attitudes toward education and lifelong learning that were nurtured in the home. Education through the school setting is, of course, extremely important, but there must be a link between what transpires in the home in terms of intellectual development or attitudes toward learning and what exists in the classroom. Adult educators can play an important role in helping to link the family and the school.

The Role of Adult Education in Helping Parents

The above discussion points to some of the many reasons why educators and parents need to work together closely. The education and stimulation of youth is a tremendous task that requires cooperation by all adults in a community. It begins with knowledgeable parents creating a learning environment in the home, continues with school officials and parents cooperating on educational pursuits by children in and out of the home, and is supplemented by adult educators continually facilitating growth through parent education programs and other lifelong learning opportunities.

A variety of educational programs designed for parents already exist in many communities throughout the United States. Adult educators also need to establish educational opportunities within which parents can learn more about the community and its many resources available to supplement the intellectual and physical development of the child from birth to adulthood. Such educational activities would be especially important when the child is of preschool age because so much is learned and most attitudes about learning are formed before a person ever enters the formal classroom.

A variety of learning opportunities are possible in almost any community:

Numerous additional opportunities are possible. Many such opportunities become continuing education for parents and can fill a variety of educational needs not already being met through existing programs or institutions.

Learning to utilize the community as a supplemental setting for the education of children and for adults will require planning and coordination. The various community activities suggested and the many others possible for families will be effective in stimulating learning only if they are made effective by knowledgeable parents and integrated with what is taking place when a child enters a classroom. Thus, the adult and continuing educator must work closely with both the parent and the K-12 educator. Learning how to make better use of the community and its resources for education is explored in greater depth in Chapter 6. In addition, visit the following URL to find out more about the educative community: /commindx.html.

Why Society Needs Adult and Continuing Education

The chapter's discussion thus far has been intended as a presentation of some historical underpinnings of adult and continuing education, coupled with a brief description of various educational needs related to the American citizen, family, and community. The changing nature of society that has been described requires that nearly every citizen gain new skills, new understandings, and new intellectual orientations throughout his life in order to live satisfactorily. The remainder of this section points out some of the primary reasons adult education activities are necessary for a society.

The most obvious adult and continuing education function is the theme of this book and the focus of Chapter 1--the facilitation of lifelong learning. Based on the premise that formal education confined to the first two decades or so of a person's life cannot possibly prepare one for the constancy and rapidity of change, lifelong learning becomes an imperative if each person is to cope with the explosion of knowledge, understand societal differences as they evolve, and adapt to the aging process. Thus, adult educators must help people keep their learning skills sharp and provide the best possible facilitative environment for learning.

Related to the above are subsequent changes in business and industry and the need for frequent career training and retraining. Many people face several different careers in a lifetime because of changing interests or certain occupations coming obsolete. In addition, many professionals such as those in medical health areas, must constantly study and learn if they are to remain proficient. Adult educators have a tremendous responsibility in facilitating occupational training and education for the professionals.

Another societal role is related to the surprisingly low level of educational achievement in the United States. Many low-income individuals cannot get out of their ruts because of inadequate amounts of education or training. In reality, each state has a large number of individuals with virtually no education at all, and, as indicated earlier, school dropout rates are increasing and in some states the average level of education has dropped in the past few years. Although increased education does not automatically mean a better life nor is education a panacea to cure all social ills, the adult educator has an important role to play in improving the literacy of many people.

Preparation for citizenship, or civic literacy as it is referred to by some, is another area of concern for the adult and continuing educator. Understanding one's own civil rights, becoming involved with community action or community development projects to solve a local problem, and simply being confident in communicating with others are important personal activities; thus, a variety of life skills are required if societal ills disliked by so many are to be cured.

A final need to be mentioned here relates to the increasing leisure experienced by some individuals that was mentioned earlier in this chapter. Hopefully, adult and continuing educators can increasingly find ways to help people fill their leisure with meaningful activities and learning pursuits designed for personal growth throughout a lifetime.

Obstacles To Adult and Continuing Education

Although the societal role of adult and continuing education is immense, there are several obstacles that have prevented and are continuing to prevent lifelong learning from becoming a reality for all individuals. Four such obstacles are described here. The reader is referred to various of the references cited at the end of the chapter for a more thorough discussion of the field, its potential, and its problems.

One critical problem is the relative secondary status or marginality of the field compared with K-12 education. A wide acceptance of adult education as a field of study or as a profession has been slow in coming, although this situation may change due to the worldwide interest in lifelong learning, the critical need by many for new knowledge, and the actual increasing involvement of adults throughout the United States in various kinds adult education or training activities. This marginal status has created difficulties for adult education in achieving local, state, and federal financial support and, to a certain extent, in working with other educational professionals.

Related to the above problem is the fact that the educational system established in the United States is primarily oriented to youth. Many of the past beliefs and some of the present beliefs related to education center on the argument that a person filled with a certain amount of knowledge and any resulting skills by the magical age of 16, 18, or 22 will be prepared for life. Such a circumstance does not allow for new learning needs caused by changing occupational needs, the rapidity of change, and the changing adult personality described in other parts of this book. The point of this argument is that learning is indeed lifelong and that learning skills and positive attitudes toward continuous learning are extremely important goals for educational efforts aimed at a youth population.

Another problem facing adult educators in their efforts to serve the adult person is the fear of, or dislike for, school that preoccupies many people. Because of failures in early schooling, dissatisfaction with certain teachers or subjects, and the expectation that adult education simply will be an extension of earlier education, the adult educator often has difficulty in recruiting certain individuals into educational programs. Such a situation should change as the idea of lifelong learning becomes more widespread and as educators become more skilled at facilitating learning activities in other than the traditional classroom setting.

There are additional obstacles to adult education, as the interested reader or person working in the field will soon discover. For example, increased support must be found, new resources for education must be developed, and education must be made purposeful, convenient, and integrated with the normal pursuits of living. Overcoming the obstacles will be a difficult task. Hopefully, this book--when read by teachers in training, experienced K-12 educators, adult educators new to the field, and other interested individuals--makes a small contribution in further establishing adult and continuing education as a societal necessity.

Implications for Training Teachers of Adults and Youth

Perhaps the most important implication of the discussion thus far is simply the need for teachers and administrators who work or will work primarily in K-12 programs to be aware of the tremendous need for, and growing involvement of, people in adult and continuing education. This would include helping K-12 students understand the need for lifelong learning and perhaps even encouraging parents to utilize adult education as a means for personal growth.

Related to developing an appreciation in students for continuous education throughout life is the development of a love for learning and numerous corresponding tools for learning. Such tools would include self-inquiry skills, the ability to undertake independent study, a curiosity about life, and knowledge regarding how to utilize a variety of resources for learning that exist inside of the normal classroom (see /sdltools.html for a discussion of several such resource or learning tools). Obviously, most schools of education throughout the United States are already helping teachers to foster the development of such tools in youth, but it is suggested much more can be done.

Another implication is related to parent education in follow-up to earlier discussion in this chapter. The impact of the parent and family environment in the early years, the ability of the parent to supplement at home education that takes place in the school, and the attitude about education and learning that parents transmit to their children are all factors with which a K-12 teacher must deal. Consequently, it is suggested that adult educators encourage to utilize adult and continuing education opportunities for their own personal growth and improvement as parents.

Finally, the increasing interest by many adults in self-growth as evidenced by enlarging enrollments in related educational programs suggests that a new educational lifestyle is indeed emerging--one in which learning is being looked to not only for vocational reasons but also for personal growth reasons. Educators at all levels have a crucial role to play in assisting with such an evolution and helping to bring about a society based on lifelong learning.

Study Questions or Stimulators

1. Determine the historical development of adult education in your local community.

2. Are there any book discussion clubs administered through your local public library or elsewhere within the community?

3. Talk with some older people in your community regarding their views on and experiences with lifelong learning.

4. Are there ABE, GED, and/or volunteer literacy programs in your community?

5. What is the level of educational attainment in your county or state? How many adults have less than a high school education? Less than a fourth grade reading skill level?

6. What has been the growth or change in population in your own community during the past two to three decades?

7. Describe as many as possible of the various types of experimental family arrangements being tried in the United States.

8. What types of parent education programs are available in your community? How would you change parent education opportunities in your community?

9. Design some possible family educational activities for your community. How could they be integrated with, or made supplemental to, regular K-12 school activities?

10. Interview a local doctor, dentist, or some other professional working in a field of rapid change. Determine how they continue their own education.

Selected Bibliography

Acredolo, L, & Goodwyn, S. (2000). Baby minds: Brain-building games your baby will love. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub. A book filled with useful information for parents wanting to prepare their new borns as lifelong learners. Chapters cover such topics as the baby's amazing brain, problem solving, memory, learning to talk, preparing to speak.

Berger, K. S. (1999). The developing person: Through childhood and adolescence.  New York: Worth Publishing. A useful text on child development, especially if utilized after the Acredolo and Goodwyn book. Various developmental areas are grouped together to provide an overall approach to understanding development. It contains several useful terms and contains various learning activities, resources, and supplemental information.

Grattan, C. H. (1955). In quest of knowledge. New York: Association Press. This thorough book describes the history of adult education. Starting with the preliterate person, the author traces the development of education of adults through the Greek, Roman, and British societies. The final two thirds of the book is devoted to the development of adult education in the United States.

Gross, R. (1977). The lifelong learner: A guide to self-development. New York: Simon & Schuster. Gross writes in a more popular style and less in a textbook fashion to present an overview of how to think about lifelong learning in terms of personal development. It makes a wonderful companion to his 1991 book.

Gross, R. (1991). Peak learning: A master course in learning how to learn. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Ths treasure trove contains many ideas on promoting learning throughout life. It describes such topics learning skills needed both now and in the future, how to overcome learning fears, how to improve memory, how to develop creative thinking skills, and how to design an optimal learning environment.

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes Pub Co. In this book 42 American families are followed in terms of parenting and development. Specific topics examined include everyday parenting, developmental differences, and the importance of the first few years.

Hiemstra, R. (2000). The educative community: Linking the community, school, and family. Fayetteville, NY: HiTree Press. Available electronically: /commindx.html. This book is built around the premise that numerous resources for education exist in each community and that means for activating the educative community need to be found. Chapters describing the community, the community education movement, and the family's role in education are included.

Knowles, M. S. (1962). The adult education movement in the United States. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. This book presents the history of adult education in the United States as a means of describing how the field has been developed. The nature and future of the adult education movement is also presented.

LeMasters, E. E. (1970). Parents in modern America. Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press. Written in realistic and lively terms, this book offers a critical review of the various literature on parent and child relationships. The author suggests that most books have tended to be child-centered and have not approached parenthood from the parent's point of view. Various chapters discuss such topics as folklore about parenthood, changes in parent roles, and parental models.

Peterson, R. E., & Associates. (1979). Lifelong learning in America. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Peterson pulled together an impressive list of co-authors to develop what really is a handbook on lifelong learning. Very extensive chapters cover such topics as present sources of education and learning, the characteristics of adult learners, state and federal programs or policies, and informational resources.

Smith, R. M. (1982). Learning how to learn. Chicago, IL: Follett Publishing Company. The author talks about the adult as learner, learning styles, how to carry personal learning projects, some alternative ways of learning, and guidelines for training other to learn how to learn among a variety of topics.

Stubblefield, H. W. (1988). Towards a history of adult education in America. London: Croom Helm. Stubblefield, today's leading adult education historian, provides an overview of adult education's history up to the 1980's. It is a valuable addition to either the Grattan or Knowles book.

Stubblefield, H. W., & Keane, P. (1994). Adult education in the American experience. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Teaming with Canadian Keane, Stufflefield expands on his 1988 book. A variety of valuable topics are included in terms of understanding the field's development as a profession.


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-- Go to the Preface, information about the author, Chapter One, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, or Chapter Eight