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ERIC Number: ED401421
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
A Proposed Historiography of Adult Education.
Smith, Glenn
Current histories of adult education trace it back to the early part of the 20th century. They share several assumptions: (1) "modern" adult education started early in this century; (2) antecedents go back to early European colonization of North America--but ignore Spanish colonizers; (3) the movement is exclusively Eurocentric, seeing no influence from thousands of years of adult education practices in Asia or Africa; (4) the movement is exclusively male; and (5) adult education is "modern"--human beings have gone from savage to civilized in a slow process of evolution. Adult education needs to become "postmodern," claiming a vast historical terrain in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, honoring egalitarianism, community empowerment, cultural and linguistic diversity, and multiple approaches to knowing. Educational history, like all knowledge, cannot be observed neutrally; to observe it is to change it because the observer's beliefs influence the observation. Today, the adult education movement is at a crossroads in the United States. It will mean rethinking about definitions, purposes, and ends/means. The result will be a brighter path to the future and a clearer story of the past. (Contains 13 references.) (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: In: Constitutive Interplay midst Discourse of East and West: Modernity & Postmodernity Renderings in Adult & Continuing Education; see CE 072 896.