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Adult Education

Defining Adult Education

By adult education I’m referring to the process by which adults continue to make sense of the times in which they live — a commitment to remain open to novelty and to engage life actively (not passively) and a willingness to continue maturing throughout life.  I’m fully aware that for perhaps many individuals adult education is much more associated with specific activities (like literacy education) or with teaching specific skills or subjects to older (i.e. adult) students.  Indeed it is associated with these things but for me adult education is also a general attitude that values newness and growth.  In this section you’ll find a selection of writings that address themes related “to the essence” of adult education: a book chapter addressing how my career in adult education was shaped; a presentation co-written with Donna Amstutz addressing values and adult education;  a presentation co-written with Cliff Harbor stressing John Dewey and Everett Dean Martin’s influence on the founding of the American Adult Education Movement; an illustrated piece on the formation of the American Adult Education Movement (pdf); my illustrated Commonplace book (pdf); a book chapter examining ways teachers can connect to the experiences adult students bring to higher education classrooms; the preface from a book co-written with Ellen Petrick on designing residential programs for adults in wilderness areas;  and, my personal top 51 works in adult education.

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