Adult Education at the Crossroads

Learning our way out

Matthias Finger and Jose Manuel Asun

Adult Education at the Crossroads

Matthias Finger and Jose Manuel Asun

Distributed for Zed Books

224 pages | 5.4375 x 8.5
Paper $44.95 ISBN: 9781856497510 Published January 2001 For sale in North and South America only
This is a pithy assessment of where adult education now stands - the traditions out of which it came, its current problems, and possible futures. The authors are particularly concerned with how its longstanding commitment to deliver social change ran into difficulties in the less favourable circumstances of the 1980s and 1990s. They argue that its purposes now need to be reconceptualized in order for it to become, once again, a relevant and effective agent of change.

The authors remind adult educationists of their traditional commitment to social action by surveying the ideas of seminal adult education thinkers as they developed historically in Europe, North America and later the Third World. They show how today‘s very different context has eroded that original vision and purpose.

The book concludes by identifying four possible future scenarios; the challenges confronting an adult education still committed to social change; and the key features which they believe can contribute to ‘learning our way out of‘ the current impasse.
Contents
List of Figures and Tables
 
List of Acronyms
 
Introduction
 
Chapter 1. Ivan Illich: Learning Webs, Not One-way Streets
Ivan Illich: the person
Ivan Illich: the theory
Counterproductive education and its alternative
Illich’s significance for adult education and his book
 
PART 1 The Main Historical Traditions in Adult Education
 
Chapter 2. UNESCO: Humanising Development through Permanent Education
The context and history of UNESCO
‘Lifelong education’, or how to humanize development
Critique of éducation permanente
 
Chapter 3. Pragmatism: A Genuine American Highway
John Dewey
Eduard Lindeman
Experiential learning
Symbolic interactionism and adult education
Critique of pragmatic adult education
 
Chapter 4. Humanism: The Lonely Traveller on the Road to Heaven
Carl Rogers
Malcolm Knowles
Stephen Brookfield
Critique of humanistic adult education
 
Chapter 5. Marxist Adult Education: Democratic Centralism or Multiple Paths to the Right Solution?
From Marxism to critical pedagogy
Paulo Freire
Participatory Action Research
 
Chapter 6. Conclusion: Adult Education and Development
Adult education in Europe: emancipation and compensation
North America: Utilitarian, liberal and radical trends
Adult education in the South: accompanying development
 
PART II Crossroads and Dead Ends
 
Chapter 7. Roads Diverging
From ‘development’ to ‘free trade’: turbo-capitalism and the casino economy
The erosion of the welfare state and the rise of conflicting demands
Postmodernism: many roads to nowhere
The ecological crisis: the ultimate dead end of industrial society
 
Chapter 8. The Transformation of Adult Education: Where Adult Education is Going – or Being Driven Towards
Privatisation 1: me, myself, and I
Privatisation 2: the erosion of the nation-state and its implications for adult education
Instrumentalisation: learning for earning
Conclusion
 
Chapter 9. Conclusion: Dead End or Social Responsibility?
 
PART III Possible Ways Out
 
Chapter 10. The Theory of Learning Our Way Out
The adult education dimension to learning our way out
The developmental dimension to learning our way out
The theoretical territory of learning our way out
Conclusion: towards an integration of the adult education and the developmental dimensions
 
Chapter 11. Ways Out: The Practice
Summary of challenges to learning our way out
Learning our way out of turbo-capitalism
Learning our way out of eroding politics
Learning our way out of postmodernism
Learning our way out of the ecological crisis
 
Chapter 12. Synthesis and Analysis
Awareness
Perspective (conceptual clarification)
Praxis
Conclusion
 
Chapter 13. Adult Education, De-institutionalism and the Theory Of Learning Our Way Out
Illich and the critique of institutionalisation
Adult education and de-institutionalisation; a research agenda
Future challenges to adult education
 
Bibliography
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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