ERIC Number: ED410441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Adult Education History: Why Rake Up the Past? Mansbridge Memorial Lecture (16th, Leeds, England, June 13, 1996).
Study of the history of adult education is worthwhile, despite perceived problems of studying history---ancient, modern, and postmodern. The ancient problems of historiography can best be summed up in the word "antiquarianism." Characteristics of modernity are as follows: the notion that history is progress, metanarratives, nationalist histories, and the study of history for its own sake. In postmodernity, all appears relative and fragmentary. Meaning is constructed within language; therefore, history is conceived as text. There is a very real danger that this postmodernist approach will lead down a blind alley of total relativism where history is merely what the historian makes or just a point of view. Therefore, the historian must always be aware of his or her particular vantage point and of other or different standpoints and must endeavor to engage with them. Because of the large amount of profound wisdom in the past, it would be very arrogant to ignore it. Adult educators can learn from the way many questions dealing with adult education have been tackled in the past. Two themes of special interest are the relationship of adult education to democratic participation and the effect of state funding on adult education. History suggests that a new approach to adult education should involve the less formal voluntary sector of adult education and the new social movements. (Contains 39 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Leeds Univ. (England). Dept. of Adult and Continuing Education.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)