ERIC Number: ED356344
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar-13
The Dynamics of American Adult Education.
Edelson, Paul J.
Adult education in the United States is again beginning to emerge as a potentially important dimension of national policy as a way to retrain the work force to be internationally competitive. Skepticism has been expressed about what "retraining" actually means. Federal government initiatives for adult and continuing education have been few and far between, so the dynamic that animates continuing education programs is not found at the federal level. Workplace continuing education shows a bias toward programs for upper and middle management. A more worker-driven dynamic that creates more educational opportunities for more employees is in its infancy. Business and industry continuing education is very loosely coupled with public education on a contractual basis. State programs are usually "terminal" with few direct linkages or articulation with other formal education. The state-funded public school programs provide "adult education" that is basic, remedial, and inescapably lower class. Adult educators in public school value making money and view colleagues as competitors. Some principles of continuing higher education are an institutional focus and a professional focus. The culture of continuing education professionalism has developed belief systems or "cults" to gain acceptance for adult education: the cults of the academy, corporation, student, and professionalism. (Contains 14 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Continuing Education, Educational History, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Educational Principles, Educational Theories, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Government, Government School Relationship, Higher Education, Public Schools, Retraining, School Business Relationship, School Districts, School Role, Staff Development, State Programs
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented to the Graduate Program at the University of Florence, Department of the Science of Education (Florence, Italy, March 13, 1993).