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ERIC Number: EJ1027900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0260-1370
A Periodization of North American Adult Education (1919-1970): A Critical Sociological Analysis of Trends and Perspectives
Grace, André P.
International Journal of Lifelong Education, v33 n2 p183-206 2014
This article provides a critical sociological analysis of trends and perspectives pervasive during the emergence of North American adult education (1919-1970). In discussing transitions during the first 50 years of what is considered modern practice, it draws on Webster E. Cotton's (1986, "On Behalf of Adult Education: A Historical Examination of the Supporting Literature." Boston, MA: Center for the Study of Liberal Education for Adults) periodization model--modified a few years later--to organize people, politics, and ideas as categories shaping North American adult education. In exploring this complexity, the article reflects on the perennial difficulty of answering the question "What is adult education?" Following brief considerations of periods one (1919-1929) and two (1930-1946) in the field's emergence, the article focuses on period three (1947-1970) in more detail, providing critical perspectives on field expansion during the perceived corporate age of adult education. It considers how adult education and constituent higher adult education were each affected as the field of study and practice negotiated the "knowledge-culture-language-power" nexus where it sought presence and place. Then, comparing the historical example of post-World War II North American adult education and the contemporary example of lifelong learning in neoliberal times, the article concludes by considering how cultural change forces have placed educational formations into reactive modes over time and tides.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; North America; United States