Eduard Christian Lindeman

Eduard Christian Lindeman

Personal Vita

Compiled by Jon Martens on July 2, 2000.


Eduard Christian Lindeman

(Born Edward Lindemann, E. C. Lindemann, E. C. Lindeman, Eduard C. Lindeman, ECL)

[Source: Leonard (1991)]

Strategy Hints

Biographies, as listed in bibliography

Several web sites, as listed in bibliography

Papers at Social Welfare History Archives at the University of Minnesota, the Columbia University Oral History and Rare Book archives, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, Dorothy Whitney Straight Elmhirst Papers at Cornell University

[source: Jon Martens; Leonard (1991), Stewart (1987)]

Bio/historical Note

Born in St. Calir, Michigan, son of Frederick and Frederika (von Piper) Lindemann. Married Hazel Charlotte Taft, August 29, 1912. Children: Doris Eleaor, Ruth Christine, Elizabeth Taft, and Barbara. Died in New York City on April 13, 1953. Teacher, social worker, and author. Lindeman had little formal education prior to entering Michigan Agricultural College in 1911 as a sub-freshman. After graduating, Lindeman served in several extension postions and as faculty in several smaller colleges. By 1924 he was on the faculty at the New York School of Social Work at Columbia University where he stayed through retirement. He served in numerous educational and social organizations, including several years with the federal government's Works Progress Administration during the New Deal era. His 1926 book, The Meaning of Adult Education, introduced many concepts of modern adult education and he is often considered as one of the pioneers in the field of adult education.

[Source: Jon Martens]

Birth Date

May 9,1885

[Source: Who Was Who in America, Vol. 3, p. 520]

Death Date

April 13, 1953

[Source: Who Was Who in America, Vol. 3, p. 520]


1911--B.S. Michigan Agricultural College

[Source: Who Was Who in America, Vol 3. p. 520]

Work History

1911-12 -- Editor of The Gleaner (a liberal agricultural journal), Detroit, Michigan.

1912-14 -- Assistant to the pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church, Lansing, Michigan.

1914-1917 -- State leader of Boy's and Girl's Clubs with Michigan Agricultural College Division of Extension

1917-1919 -- Instructor at YMCA George Williams College, Chicago, Illinois.

1919-1922 -- Professor of Sociology, North Carolina College for Women, Greensboro, North Carolina.

1922-1924 -- Free-lance writing and private research

1924-1950 -- Professor of Social Work at New York School of Social Work at Columbia University, New York City.

1935-1938 -- Director of Community Organization for Leisure in the Works Progress Administration, Washington, D.C.

1946 -- Educational advisor to the British Army of Occupation in Germany

Visiting professor at New School of Social Research (1925-1927), Pendle Hill (1933-1934), Temple University (1934-1935), University of California (1936, 1938), Columbia University (1941-1942), Staford University (1941), University of Wisconsin (1941), Colgate Rochester Divinity School (1943), and the Univeristy of New Delhi in India (1949).

[Sources: Who Was Who in America, Vol 3, p 520; Stewart (1987), Leonard (1991)]

Associated Subjects

Social work.

Informal education.

Community development.

Group discussion.

Situational learning.

Experience based learning.

Progressive social action.

Individualized instruction.

Praxis and social pragmatism.

[sources: Stewart (1987), Leonard (1991), Web site]

Associated People

Herbert Croly -- Editor of New Republic (which often published works by Lindemann), Croly was a mentor of Lindeman's and they were close friends and help similar philospohies.

John Dewey -- A colleague of Lindeman's at Columbia, Lindeman said that Dewey taught him pramtatism. Lindeman applied many of Dewey's philospohies of progressive education to the field of adult education.

Mary Follett -- One of the earliest writers on adult education in the 20th century, she collaborated with Lindemann on several occasions and influenced Lindeman's ideas on the role of adult education in a democratic society and the power of expierential learning.

Everett Dean Martin -- A liberal educator, often called one of Lindeman's chief rivals. Martin's liberal, elitist view clashed with the progressive, egalitarian views of Lindeman.

Max Otto -- A fellow social pragmatist, Otto and Lindemann were good friends and colleauges. Lindeman had quoted Otto in The Meaning of Adult Education.

Dorothy Whitney Straight -- One of the wealthiest women in America in the early 20th century, Dorothy Whitney Straight was a social activist, founder of New Republic and the New School for Social Research, and one of Linedman's close friends and first mentors.

[Source: Leonard (1991), Stewart (1987)]

Associated Organizations

Lindeman serves as consultant and executive board memeberfor numerous organizations throughout his professional life. A sample of the major organizations include:

American Association for Adult Education (member of original Executive Board)

American Civil Liberties Union (director, 1949)

Americans for Democratic Action

American Labor Education Service

The Inquiry -- The Inquiry was a social action organization funded by Dorthy Whitney Straight in the mid-1920's. Lindemann was one of its members and leaders

International Conference

National Child Labor Association

National Council of Parent Education

National Urban League

New York Council on Adult Education

Progessive Education Association

Public Education Association

White House Conference on Children in Democracy

Associated Events

1925 -- Attended Carnegie national conference on adult education, an antecedent to formation of the American Association fo Adult Education.

[Source: Stewart (1987)]

Associated Places

School of Social Work at Columbia Univeristy, New York City.

[Source: Stewart (1987)]


Lindemann published five books and over two hundred articles. Major works relevant to adult education include:

Lindeman, E. C. (1921). The community: An introduction to the study of community leadership and organization. New York: Association Press.

Lindeman, E. C. (1924). Self education for scientists. New Republic, 37, 192-193.

Lindeman, E. C. (1923). Recreation and the new psychology. Playground, 17, 211-212.

Lindeman, E. C. (1924). Social discovery: an approach to the study of function groups. New York: Republic Publishing.

Lindeman, E. C. (1925). Adult education: a creative opportunity. Library Journal, 50, 445-447.

Lindeman, E. C. (1925). Adult education. New Republic, 54, 7-8.

Lindeman, E. C. (1926). The meaning of adult education. New York: New Republic. (Republished in 1961 by Harvest House.)

Lindeman, E. C. (1926). Andragogik: the method of teaching adults. Workers' Education, 4, 38.

Lindeman, E. C. (1926). Limitations of discussion methods. Rural America, 4, 7.

Lindeman, E. C. (1928). Review of Why Stop Learning by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. Survey, 57, 679-682.

Lindeman, E. C. (1928). Adult education: A new means for liberals. New Republic, 54, 26-29.

Lindeman, E. C. (1928). Enjoying while learning. Trained Nurse, 413.

Lindeman, E. C. (1929). Meaning of Adult Learning. Progressive Education, 6, 35-39.

Lindeman, E. C. (1929). Adult learning and the university woman. Ammerican Association of University Women Journal, 1, 142-144.

Lindeman, E. C. (1929). Adult education becomes a world movement. Fraternity, 2, 7.

Lindeman, E. C. (1931). Six questions for parent education. Child Study, 8, 171-172.

Lindeman, E. C. (1933). Social education: A interpretation of the principles and methods developed by The Inquiry during the years 1923-1933. New York: New Republic.

Lindeman, E. C. (1935). The place of discussion in the learning process. Journal of Home Economics, 348-350.

Lindeman, E. C. (1937). Adult Education. In: Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. New York: Columbia University Press.

Lindeman, E. C. (1940). John Dewey as educator. School and Society, 51, 33-37.

Lindeman, E. C. (1941). Recreation and morale. American Journal of Sociology, 47, 394-405.

Lindeman, E. C. (1944). New needs of adult education. In: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 231, 115-122.

Lindeman, E. C. (1945). World peace through adult education. Nation's Schools, 35, 23.

Lindeman, E. C. (1945). The sociology of adult education. Education Sociology, 19, 4-13.

Lindeman, E. C. (1947). Adult education and the democratic discipline. Adult Education Journal, 6, 112-115.

Lindeman, E. C., & Smith, T. V. (1951). The democratic way of life. New York: Mentor: Books.

Lindeman, E. C. (1951). Qualities of a professional recreation worker. Recreation, 44, 533.

[Source: Stewart (1987)]

References To:

Brockett, R. (1987). 1926-1986: A retrospective look at seected adult education literature. Adult Education Quarterly, 37, 114-121.

Brookfield, S. (1987a). Contributions of Eduard Lindeman to the development of theory and philosophy in adult education. Adult Education Quarterly, 34, 185-196.

Brookfield, S. (1987b).Learning democracy: Eduard Lindeman on adult education and social change. London: Croom Helm.

Gessner, R. (1956). The democratic man: Selected writings of Eduard C. Lindeman. Boston: Beacon Press.

Heaney, T.(ca. 1996). Adult Educators you should know: Eduard Lindeman. Chicago: National-Louis University, Department of Adult and Continuing Education web page. [On-line]. Available:

Leonard, E. L. (1991). Friendly rebel: A personal and social history of Eduard C. Lindeman. Adamant, Vermont: Adamant Press.

Levine, S. J. (1992). Eduard Lindeman and his views of education. [On-line]. Available:

Nixon-Ponder, S. (ca. 1995). Leader in the field of adult education: Eduard C. Lindeman. Kent, OH: Kent State University, Ohio Literacy Resource Center. [On-line]. Available:

Smith, M. K. (1997). Eduard C. Lindeman (The informal education homepage). [On-line]. Available:

Stewart, D. W. (1987). Adult learning in America: Eduard Lindeman and his agenda for lifelong learning. Malabar, Florida: Robert E. Krieger Publishing.

[Source: Jon Martens, Stewart (1987)]

[Postscript: Professor Lindeman was inducted posthumously into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame on April 18, 2002.]

Modified on May 6, 2002

-- Cross-reference to Project Vitae in Adult Education

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