Making Space: Merging Theory and Practice in Adult Education

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Representative of a wide range of adult education and lifelong learning frameworks and experiences, this book gives voice to emerging perspectives and offers thought-provoking critiques of established practices and accepted theories. Those in the adult education academy, as well as other voices often excluded from the discourse in adult education, offer critiques of the social, political, economic, and historical forms of hegemony in the discipline. They analyze the ways in which these hegemonic norms and practices have affected adult learning environments and the participation rates of varying groups and shed light on how adult education as a field of practice can marginalize individuals based on their ethnicity, race, gender, class, language, age, or sexual orientation. These critiques provide a powerful statement about silence, invisibility, and the marginalization of the other, and suggest that adult educators may complicitly, if not implicitly, marginalize adult learners.

This book will provide professors and students, adult literacy teachers, corporate trainers, community-based organizers, and others with alternative ways to think about adult education practice, adult learners, and the multiple, intersecting realities that influence the teaching/learning transaction. In so doing, this book provides practitioners and academicians with a forum to dialog about emerging theories and practices, and through the discourse they can begin to merge theories and practices through language that is accessible and inclusive.

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Editorial Reviews

Twenty-nine specialists from the U.S., Canada, and Australia contribute to this text examining issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class and sexual orientation in adult education. Twenty-three chapters are organized around five main topics: deconstructing exclusion and inclusion in adult education; the function of adult learning within certain important social and historical movements and phenomena; adult basic education in community-based programs, prisons, federally-funded programs, and workplace settings; culture and its influence on learning processes, settings and outcomes; and the future of adult education, the implications of marginalization, empowerment, and opportunities and cautions for those in the field. For educators, graduate students, and policymakers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897896009
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2001
  • Pages: 378
  • Lexile: 1370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

VANESSA SHEARED is Associate Dean in the College of Education at San Francisco State University, where she has been actively involved in working with both public, community-based, and higher education programs./e She served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Conference for five years.

PEGGY A. SISSEL was formerly Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock./e She was a former member of the Commission of Professors in Adult Education Board of Directors.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: The Beginning: A Response by Phyllis Cunningham

Deconstructing Exclusion and Inclusion in AE

Opening the Gates: Reflections on Power: Hegemony, Language, and the Status Quo by Peggy A. Sissel and Vanessa Sheared

Incorporating Postmodernist Perspectives into Adult Education by David F. Hemphill

Challenging Adult Learning: A Feminist Perspective by Daniele D. Flannery and Elizabeth Hayes

Talking about Whiteness: Adult Learning Principles and the Invisible Norm by Sue Shore

An Invisible Presence, Silenced Voices: African-Americans in the Adult Education Professoriate by Sherwood E. Smith and Scipio A.J. Colin III

History Revisited and Claimed

African-American Market Woman: Her Past, Our Future by Cheryl Smith

Creating an Intellectual Basis for Friendship: Practice and Politics in a White, Women's Study Group by Jane M. Hugo

Northern Philanthropy's Idealogical Influence on African-American Adult Education in the Rural South by Bernadine S. Chapman

Struggling to Learn, Learning to Struggle: Workers, Workplace Learning, and the Emergence of Human Resource Development by Fred Schied

The Role of Adult Education in Workplace Ageism by Su-fen Liu and Frances Rees

Classrooms and/or Communities: Contexts, Questions, and Critiques

Communities in the Classroom: Critical Reflections on Adult Education in an Appalachian Community by Mary Beth Bingman and Connie White, with Amelia R.B. Kirby

Education, Incarceration, and the Marginalization of Women by Irene C. Baird

Adult Basic Education: Equipped for the Future or for Failure? by Donna Amstutz

Teaching as Political Practice by Ruth Bounous

Cultural Infusion: Reflections on Identity and Practice

African-American Women of Inspiration by Angela Humphrey Brown

Through the Eyes of a Latina: Professional Women in Adult Education by Rosita Lopez Marcano

By My Own Eyes: A Story of Learning and Culture by Lynette Harper and "Mira"

Using Queer Cultural Studies to Transgress Adult Educational Space by AndRÉ P. Grace

Feminist Perspectives on Adult Education: Constantly Shifting Identities in Constantly Changing Times by Elizabeth J. Tisdell

Reconstructing the Field: Our Personal and Collective Identities

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Confronting Who 'We' Are by Merilyn Childs

Technologies of Learning at Work: Disciplining the Self by John Garrick and Nicky Solomon

The Political Economy of Adult Education Implications for Practice by Jorge Jeria

What Does Research, Resistance, and Inclusion Mean for Adult Education Practice? A Reflective Response by Vanessa Sheared and Peggy A. Sissel

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