ERIC Number: ED326645
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
The Paradox of Critical Practice: A Case Study.
The Bagby, Oklahoma, Human Resources Center was conceived in the mid-1970s as a model of community education and unified services. It was built with federal grant money to serve as a middle school, library, human services office, and meeting space for Bagby, a growing town of about 5,000. As envisioned, it was to serve all parts of the population, with a gymnasium for recreation, a library for both adults and children, adult education and job training, senior citizens meals and recreation, and many of the human services needed by disadvantaged people. Ten years later, however, interviews with townspeople and observation of the uses of the building showed that the dream has not been fulfilled. Although a middle school, a library, and a health service operate in the building, it has not become the community center that was proposed. Each of the units operates separately. There is little integration of personnel or services, and each of the major entities, the school and library, thinks of the building as "theirs." No director of the facility was hired to coordinate activities; the middle school refuses to let community groups use "their" gym, and the library makes strict rules about the use of "their" meeting room. In addition, the building was built away from the center of town, where the majority of the people needing human services live, and little input was gathered from the community about its needs prior to construction. The Bagby disappointment points out the paradox of the philosophy of adult education: If it is meant to empower adults, as has been maintained, then it cannot be "owned" by the schools or other authorities. (21 references) (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Agency Cooperation, Community Attitudes, Community Centers, Community Control, Community Education, Community Resources, Community Satisfaction, Educational Philosophy, Elementary Secondary Education, Local History, Middle Schools, Public Health, Public Libraries, School Community Relationship
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Salt Lake City, UT, October 28-November 3, 1990).