The Educative Community

A great deal has happened since Educative Community was first published in 1972. The "Mott Internship" training program in Flint, Michigan, in which I was privileged to participate, has passed from the scene. However, it left behind a training heritage and developed or contributed to the growth of literally thousands of professional educators, many of whom today hold leadership roles in adult education, community education, and Schools of Education. Many of these people, like me, have had the good fortune of meeting and perhaps working with people like Charles Stewart Mott, Frank Manley, and Howard Yale McClusky. The influence of such leaders, who have in some way affiliated with the Mott model and the community education movement, will be felt in educational efforts throughout the world for many years to come.

The Mott Foundation, while still providing support to the community education movement, has diversified its contributions to education at both national and international levels. Flint, Michigan, still serves as a site for workshops and short-term training pertaining to community education. Regional centers for community education exist in several locations. A National Community Education Association thrives in the Washington, D.C., area and publishes the Community Education Journal. Federal and state legislation has been passed, has made many contributions to community education, but often languishes at the mercy of current national or state-level political attitudes. However, despite various funding difficulties, the community education movement continues to be important throughout and beyond the United States.

Perhaps most striking has been the maturation of the community education movement. Thousands of individuals refer to themselves as professional community educators. Thousands more in some way work with community education activities through their public school, adult education, recreation, or community center positions. Literature and research on the field has broadened, too, with community centers, Cooperative Extension, community colleges, recreation agencies, adult education programs, and various other community agencies involved with forms of community education. The notion of creating, or even activating the educative community, as the title of this book implies, has become realty.

This third edition reflects many of these changes and the additional knowledge and literature accumulated since 1972. In addition, I have had the experience of teaching a graduate course or have conducted workshops on "community and the adult educator" dozens of times in the past decade. No doubt there are concepts, literature, and examples which I have not dealt with adequately. However, the book is written so that each chapter can serve as a primary resource containing some current information, several annotated citations, and, frequently, one or more supplemental appendices. In addition, at the conclusion of chapters several definitions, study stimulators, and references are provided for the reader seeking further knowledge and information.

The book remains organized into eight chapters. The first three are related to defining community, the idea of an educative community, and the community education movement. The fourth chapter is on the family's role in promoting education. Chapters Five and Six focus on community coordination and change. Chapter Seven is on the potential for community investments in education while the last chapter speculates on the role higher education should play in the community.


This book is dedicated to three colleagues who meant a great deal to me. The first is Professor Howard Yale McClusky. Professor McClusky was my mentor and without a doubt the finest teacher with whom I ever had the privilege of studying. His dedication to adult education and to communities in America was tremendous and he taught me much about myself as a professional.

The second is Dean Burton Blatt. Dr. Blatt was dean of the Syracuse University School of Education for several years. He is the finest dean with whom I have ever had the good fortune of serving under. His leadership in education, his support of me and the Adult Education program, and his community leadership was outstanding. His courageous bout with disease was an inspiration to many.

The third is Mr. John Champaigne who was an outstanding graduate student in Adult Education. He was one of the first students interested in my research on the community and was beginning similar dissertation research when an icy patch on the way home from Syracuse University one evening took his life at much too early an age.

The passing of these three fine human beings in the early eighties was a great loss and I hope that my work related to community in some way matches the respect I had for their lives.

Roger Hiemstra

Syracuse, New York

January, 1993 (revised September, 1997, and December, 2000)


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-- Go to Information about the author, Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, or the Index