Adult Education in the American Experience: From the Colonial Period to the Present / Edition 1

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From the earliest contributions of Native Americans in the colonial period to the workforce preparation crisis in the 1980s, this book explores the patterns, themes, and changing ideologies of learning and education in adulthood.Harold W. Stubblefield and Patrick Keane detail the broad context of adult learning and its relationship to social, economic, and political movements throughout American history. Giving special attention to issues of race, ethnicity, class, religion, and gAnder, the authors examine the institutions, agencies, and programs that have disseminated knowledge and culture to adults. They describe the ideology of self-improvement and the role of adult education in the struggle against social injustice, economic powerlessness, and segregation. And they show the alternative educational systems—including women's organizations, self-help efforts of African Americans, and education programs created by industrial workers and farmers—created to address interests ignored by the larger society.From the earliest contributions of Native Americans in the colonial period to the workforce preparation crisis in the 1980s, Adult Education in the American Experience explores the patterns, themes, and changing ideologies of learning and education in adulthood.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Stubblefield and Keane have brought a high degree of organizationand coherence to the very complex history of adult education in theUnited States. No one who is serious about the study of adultlearning can afford to be without this thoroughly researchedvolume."
—David W. Stewart, director of program development, theCenter for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials, AmericanCouncil on Education
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787900250
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Series: Higher and Adult Education Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 657,125
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

HAROLD W. STUBBLEFIELD is professor of adult education atthe Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. A winnerof the 1988 Imogene Okes Award for Outstanding Research in AdultEducation, he has been chair of the Commission of Professors ofAdult Education and a consulting editor of Adult EducationQuarterly.

PATRICK KEANE was professor of continuing education atDalhousie University in Nova Scotia from 1970 until his retirementin 1992. His articles have been published in such journals asStudies in Adult Education, International Journal ofLifelong Education, Convergence, and Adult EducationQuarterly.

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Table of Contents

Part One: Adult Education in Early America.

Part Two: The Early National and Antebellum Eras.

Part Three: Adult Education in an Era of Modernization.

Part Four: The Nation Amid Crisis and Recovery.

Part Five: America at the Peak of World Power.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2006

    Adult Education in the American Experience

    ADED 5510 Book Review Stubblefield, H., & Keane, P. (1994). Adult Education in the American Experience. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass Introduction Adult Education in the American Experience provides a concise study of the evolution of the loosely defined field of adult education, tracing the field from the earliest roots in colonial American through the contemporary times of the 1990¿s. Along with providing a useful historical timeline of evolutionary events, the text offers useful insights into the cultural and political context of each timeframe allowing the reader to better understand the formative powers behind the outcomes. Major Themes I think a principle theme to the text is the idea that through a study of the history and evolution of adult education we can begin to elucidate the underpinnings of the attitudes and values a nation has toward education and an educated citizenry. This particular theme reflects the founding spirit of the nation that opportunity and personal progress are (or should be) rooted in personal initiative, hard work, and the value of knowledge as a contributor to the national good. A second important theme could reasonably be argued that as a society matures and changes, the core values or acknowledgement of the value of education may remain, but changing demographics and available employment landscapes spur continual adjustments and changing tactics. Changing tactics are created by changes in the relative wealth and education of the population base and well as changes in technology and access to information through the available media. I personally feel a final theme that can be gleaned from the total body of the work is that adult education is by its nature a nebulous field. It is not a profession that lends itself to fitting in a clearly defined set of parameters. There are niches of specialization, but ultimately they all fit under the large umbrella known as adult education. Integration of Themes in Adult Education One of the most poignant illustrations of the book¿s themes being integrated into adult education are the chronicles of how learning and knowledge were organically developed and managed during the earliest years of the American colonies. During the 17th century and stretching forward over the span of a century, information or knowledge found ways to develop and disseminate from often informal means based solely on the desires of the individuals involved. Those desires were surely often driven by necessity of earning a living, but there are examples of desires for the sake of knowledge itself such as the example of the support for the early naturalists by the Royal Society (p. 20). In addition, at this socially organic level, the religious beliefs of the citizenry served as an initial catalyst to press for literacy among the population (p. 23). Through the socially-based drives of the colonial Americans, public lectures on health and science were provided. While colonial governments were not prepared for, nor totally committed to formal institutions of learning, groups of like-minded individuals banded together for form societal organizations that spawned development of libraries and institutions where learning was made available in a relatively accessible manner for the average citizen. I believe there are contemporary examples of these efforts even today. These types of efforts can be seen in urban areas and are particularly easy to recognize in some isolated rural communities. Volunteer theater groups, community museums, and adult or community education centers are wide spread. I personally am involved in a community-based foundation that has operated adult education programs in various forms for over 40 years in one isolated southern Utah community. There is a simple, yet poetic guidepost that serves as a seeds to these endeavors and it could be summarized like this, ¿we are all we have.¿ If not a physical reality of the

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2006

    History of Adult Education

    As the title suggest this book covers our history of education from Benjamin Franklin¿s early days as a young apprentice to the development of community colleges to address the need for education post war. The book describes how adult education has a distinct place in society and how it has transformed over the centuries to what has become today. In the United States, adult education has become popularized by the continuous efforts to implement it into every part of society. Our public schools, universities, and jobs all use adult education as a means of improving society. Stubblefield describes the contradictory theme in this country when it comes to education. Education earned a certain social status, and built confidence in the individual that had it. It was a form of elitism and those that were a part of this group controlled the status quo. Knowledge was power, and African Americans, Native Americans and women gained too much. The powers that be could not allow these groups to gain this power or they would be able to challenge the status quo. There were very few individuals and organizations that helped these groups obtain the education needed to be a functioning member of society and were never without conflict This is an excellent source for anyone involved with adult education, and interested in its evolution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2000

    From A Student's Perspective

    Speaking from the perspective of one who was a former student of Dr. Harold Stubblefield's,'Adult Education in the American Experience' is a must read for every citizen in America. Stubblefield & Keane lead the field of historians who---for the first time---integrate women and minorities into the educational fabric of what it is we know truly as the 'American Experience.' The organization of the book is easy to follow which may move it beyond others of its kind. Themes of self-improvement, social injustice, social empowerment, institutions, agencies of education, etc. are framed economically, politically and certainly historically. This book was written to address and appeal to a wide audience. Although scholarly in approach, the book's themes, concepts, and ideas transcend the realm of scholars to include something of interest for every citizen in America.

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