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Adult Education: An Overview Author(s): Paul L. Essert Source: Review of Educational Research, Vol. 23, No. 3, Adult Education (Jun.

, 1953), pp. 195201 Published by: American Educational Research Association Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/09/2013 01:09
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inflations. tho based upon a synthesis of statistical and nonstatistical data. 28 Sep 2013 01:09:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Kerrison (26) in labor education 195 This content downloaded from 146. or have generalized that interest has increased without giving statistical documentation. was that of the NEA Division of Adult Education Service (31). SINCE Spence's summary (37) of evidences of growing pubilc interest in Essert's study (17) of the growth trends in all specializations over the past quarter of a century is helpful. Houle points out that only a modest beginning has been made in adult education in the collection of basic data from which generalizations may be made about growth. During the five-year period 1947 thru 1951 this represented an increase of 51.33 on Sat. either in quantity or quality of participation. Prendergast and Kessel (34) in the recreational fields. or over 100 percent increase. This has been both a practical demonstration of public interest and a contributing factor to it. This study estimated that in 1951 there were over 5 million people enrolled in adult-education offerings of public schools and public junior colleges. for it undoubtedly made an impression on adults of the nation that maturing in adulthood called for continuing study of one's self and his cultural relationships. ESSERT Overview adult education up to and including 1949. However. In Chapter VII of this issue of the REVIEW. which make it safe to generalize-both over long and short periods-that public interest in most areas of adult education is increasing. Studies of other agencies and areas of specialization more concerned with qualitative than with quantitative analyses of trends have sometimes included some statistical data applicable to the period under review.2 percent in the public schools.94. This study estimated an increase of adult participantsin all forms of adult education. and other political and social events produced no serious changes in the general upward trend of numbers of adults participating. tho limited to urban public-school and junior-college adult education. Overstreet'sMature Mind (33) has had wide popular as well as professional reading. Essert concluded that wars. and changes in interests of participants and uses of the learning experience.155. during the period under review some studies of a statistical nature have appeared together with some less exact estimates.CHAPTER I Adult Education-An PAUL L. from approximately14 million in 1924 to 30 million in 1950. A much more reliable study of growth in participation on a national scale. but rather resulted in shifts in sources of control and support. Some studies of this nature include reports by Lyle and Kehm (29) on trends in education for family living. depressions. while the junior-college enrolments in adult education more than doubled during the same period.

Thayer and Wilkins (40) in adult vocational education.155. and (e) general recognition of the need for community organization of adult education activities. XXIII. From this symposium Durrie drew conclusions that the trends were in the direction of: (a) greater emphasis upon the education of the individual in relation to his cultural setting." Current trends and practices on the international level. and Kaplan (24) in education relating to improvementof industrial relations.94.33 on Sat. it can be said that observers see adult education moving in the direction of becoming a more dynamic force in modifying cultural change. (c) a shift from determining needs by random individual requests toward an attempt to discover more basic and underlying needs. 28 Sep 2013 01:09:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Caliver (13) and Ruja (35) in health education. The major differences are in point of departure. there are no fundamental differences from Durrie's list (16). Hamlin (22) and Wilson (43) in rural education. reported by UNESCO (41). 3 in universities and colleges. the study clearly showed that there is no tendency in the public schools to decrease offerings for vocational competence and in the recreational fields to attain the other objectives. Symons. and Bliss. Weaver (42) in civil defense training. cultural interpretations. Viewed broadly. Studies relating 196 This content downloaded from 146. However. (b) greater emphasis on community and public affairs and human relations in group life. rather than simply responding to it after the fact. No. Leigh (27) in public libraries. including the following: Coit and others (15) in workers' education. In general. cited previously. Lyle and Kehm (29) in education for home and family living. Qualitative Trends Several efforts have been made to penetrate the evidence of growth in numbers of adults participating in education to discover underlying currents of direction and purpose. The study of the NEA Division of Adult Education Service (31) gave some statistical documentation to support a generalization that there are observable trends toward increased emphasis upon adult education for civic responsibility and for a concern with the meaning and application of democracy in all phases of life. Prendergast and Kessel (34) in education for leisure. Calver (14) in fundamental education. (d) deeper concern with democratic philosophy as well as its implementation. furnished a basis of comparison of the characteristics and goals of the movement in the United States with other nations. Shangold (36) in education of the foreign-born. and Schruben (11) in the cooperative extension services of agricultureand home economics. but showed rather that there is a tendency to supplement adult education for "enrichment of life" and "vocational competence" with education for "civic responsibility.REVIEW OF EDUCATIONALRESEARCH Vol.and implementations. Durrie (16) summarizedobservabletrends in a symposium of articles written by authorities in various fields of specialization.

Some of the technics treated in early issues were as follows: the group in the community (5). 28 Sep 2013 01:09:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . using resources (8). group leadership (7). In each instance the journal's operations committee. program planning (6). and staff carried on extensive research in determining needs and interests of the field. Chapter VII of this issue of the REVIEWexpands this observation. Trends in Organization for Research Institutions. Fletcher (18) also described the broad outline of the policies and program of the Fund for Adult Education.94. and while neither saw its concerns as limited by or to those of the other. The projects which they have undertakencooperatively represent either organization leading toward research or further identification of research needed. 19).33 on Sat. neither the organization nor the capital has been as extensive or as concerned with improving the competency of leadership as seems to be the case in this development. organizations. A. These two agencies are the Adult Education Association of the U. The trend in methodology seems to be toward more objective understanding of the needs of the individual within his cultural setting rather than either apart from the other.Ju7e 1953 June ~~ ~ ADUL EDCTO-NOEVE 195 ADULT EDUCATION-AN OVERVIEW ~ ? to the specific nature of this trend are treated more fully in remaining chapters of this volume. While there have been other periods in adult education when organized human resources have been joined by organized capital. The point of departure for this methodology seems to be that of supplementingthe efforts of the individual to mature within adult groups that already exist in the community. S. None of these trends are discrete and probably do not represent alternatives as much as they represent new and additional objectives of both learners and leaders. This journal was designed to reflect research in methodology in adult education. 20). this overview of the period would not be complete without citing some of their studies and reports. they did find much in common. from their joint efforts. of the new magazine Adult Leadership. and the Fund for Adult Education of the Ford Foundation. Studies which amplify the nature of this trend are reported in Chapters II and IV. But since two agencies have concurrently come into existence during the period. analyzing. agencies. These two vital forces for the improvementof adult education came into official being at about the same time (3. Of particular interest was the emergence. and have made some significant beginnings toward strengthening research and communication. and has been devoted to particular technics of the practicing adult educator. as contrasted with previous emphasis upon forming new and artificial groups for adult education. and working toward goals (9).155. and 197 This content downloaded from 146. These projects and developmentsto date were reported in the respective organization'sfirst annual reports (4. sifting. and leaders involved in adult education have played a part in clarifying the trends in adult education during the period under review and have been affected by them. special consultants.

94. In addition to these joint studies of the Adult Education Association and the Fund for Adult Education. Hallenbeck (21) raised a related question: With all of our concern about methodology directed toward the participation of the citizen in public affairs. No. and when and what he learns.33 on Sat. and will select and attack problems of adult education with organized research materials. Blakely (10) has made it clear that there is grave question in the field as to whether it has properly interpreted needs and motivations of adults in relation to our time.REVIEW OF EDUCATIONALRESEARCH Vol. to be affiliatedwith the Adult Education Association (2). The first of these was the organization of a council of national organizations interested in adult education. even if we read them right. Two other joint projects of the Adult Education Association and the Fund for Adult Education should be mentioned because of their long-term potentials for the organization of research and the stimulation of serious study. for coordinating research on common problems related to particular local or regional environments. 198 This content downloaded from 146. The second of these joint projects was the Area ConferenceOrganization Project (1). do we really understand the nature of his attitudes and problems in participation? All of these and other literature dealing with the nature of our problems in a changing culture suggest the need for genetic studies of the nature of adult growth in relation to cultural change. and government raised the question of whether citizens' efforts to find creative. This project was designed to stimulate and nourish organization at the local and regional levels for pooling and sharing best practices and sound knowledge in adult education. XXIII. the way the adult learns. and for encouraging and implementing inservice education of leaders in adult education. however. 28 Sep 2013 01:09:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and projecting and testing various hypotheses. should not be interpreted to mean that there are not many important questions in adult education in which there is little if any evidence of thoughtful research and experimentation in the field. 3 organizing the best-known practice. Bryson's analysis (12) of trends toward centralization in business.155. Needed Research The period between 1949-1952 might be characterizedas one in which adult education was drawing the broad outlines of a program of more substantive research. to which organization of manpower and capital was lending substantial implementation. This apparently optimistic generalization. It was designed to perform the function of synthesis of various national groups in which adult education is a part of a broader program. democratic expression of personality in these areas are not illusionary motivations. Most of these are cited in the material of subsequentchaptersof this REVIEW. labor. each has independentlyundertakenresearch and experimentationpertinent to adult education.

ADULT EDUCATION ASSOCIATION OF THE U.33 on Sat. Kempferand Wood (25) collected some financial practices in financing adult education in public schools and colleges. ADULT LEADERSHIP. 23 p. June 1951. 28 Sep 2013 01:09:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Year One. Other types of research needed will appear in the chapters which follow. 8. studies which have done much to make elementary and secondary education conscious of the organic. ROBERT J. Zander (44). AEA. November 1952. Bibliography 1." Adult Leadership 1: 1-34. April 1952. ADULT LEADERSHIP. ADULT LEADERSHIP. 1952. 10. May 1952." Adult Education 1: 16163. 5. But there is need for studies in adult education similar to the significant and growing body of research in child growth and adolescent growth. dynamic. and Organization Project. ADULT EDUCATION. and various state and regional surveys (23. ADULT EDUCATION." Adult Leadership 1: 1-34. and social nature of learning. 7. Practically no significant research is existent which deals with the problems related to financing of adult education. Stanley's study (38) was unique in that it was probably the first attempt to establish a measure of cost-quality relationship. "Council of National Organizations Founded. S." Adult Education 2: 143-45." Adult Education 3: 2-10. 4. Nicholson (32). methods of financing courses and classes. ADULT EDUCATION. 39) contained some estimates of cost in relation to the total budget of institutions engaged in other activities. April 1952. and other studies cited in Chapter II and Chapter IV of this issue. 199 This content downloaded from 146. "Area Conference 2. "The Group in the Community. June "Using Resources. "Program Planning Issue. 30." Adult Leadership 1: 1-34. October 1952. 1952. 9. and other items of information. First Annual Report. BLAKELY. 6.94.June 1953 June EDUCATION-AN ADULT ADULT EDUCATION-AN OVERVIEW OVERVIEW Psychological studies of adult-learningproblems and motivations at any particular age level are important in understanding the adult-learning process and its unique characteristics. 3. "Adult Education Needs a Philosophy and a Goal. Illustrative of these are the studies of Lorge (28)." Adult Educa- 1952." Adult Leadership 1: 1-34. Much more serious and extensive study is needed along this line before adult education can begin to say what kind of adult education the taxpayer or the fee-payer will get for his money. The contributorshave been consistently aware of the fact that adult education is still at a stage where it must draw freely from documentation of thoughtful speculation as well as that of tested experience. "Significance of Founding Assembly. "Spotlight on Leadership. tion 2: 145-46. ADULT LEADERSHIP. ADULT LEADERSHIP. Sep- tember 1952. including that of the NEA Division of Adult Education Service (31). July-August "Working Toward Goals. A.155." Adult Leadership 1: 1-34. These chapters deal with some of the areas in which developments can more adequately be documentedthan in others. Chicago: the Association (743 North Wabash Avenue). Recent surveys of education.

TEACHERS COLLEGE. 295 p. 1951. 171 p. J..155. 333 p... 23. and KULP. 30. KAPLAN. 1952. D. No. September 1952. September 1952." Adult Education 2: 186-87. November 1952. 177 p. "Emerging Patterns of Growth."Adult Learning." Adult Education 2: 203-205. 34. The Spirit and Philosophy of Extension Work. RUJA. The Mature Mind. Columbia University. 16 p. 248 p." Adult Education 2: 202-203. p. No. New BrunsKERRISON.REVIEWOF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH Vol. OVERSTREET. 22. and SCHRUBEN. August 1949. SYMONS. 27. 27 p. KEMPFER. wick. New What It Is and What It Is Doing. IRVINE L. New York: the Foundation (655 Madison Avenue). 13. 26. 16. "The Program of the Fund for Adult Education. L. 24." Adult Education 2: 208-11. search 20: 165-70." Adult Education 2: 156-59. 268-75. 15. C. "Participation in Public Affairs: A Diagnosis of the Problem. 21. 25.. 37.: Graduate School of the U. D. HOMER N. 175-85. Office of Education. 1951. XXIII. Washington. Creative Leadership of Adult Education. 41 p. J. T. New York: W. Education and the Future of Puerto Rico. compilers and editors. 189-94. 1952. FORD FOUNDATION FUND FOR ADULT EDUCATION. 200 This content downloaded from 146. "Fundamental November 1952.COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. LYMAN. ELEANOR G. U. June 1952. N. "Education for the Foreign-Born.: Superintendent of Documents. ESSERT. ABBOTT. PAUL H. p. 387-405. "Workers' Education. CAYCE. C. "Education for Creative and PRENDERGAST. BERTRAM. D. 29. "Education for Mental Health. SCOTT." Adult Education 3: 25-27. HARRY A. New York: ColumLEIGH. Federal Security Agency. 1951. and OTHERS. D. BLISS. Public A Study of Urban Public School Adult Education Programs of the United States. BENJAMIN. COIT. 1950. 33." Adult Education 3: 19- York: the Foundation (655 Madison Avenue). HAMLIN. Albany: New York State Education Department (University of the State of New York). Buffalo Public Schools in the Mid-Twentieth Century. HOMERH. "Public Health Education. SHANGOLD. 32. Government Printing Office. 14. "Agricultural Education in Public Schools.: Rutgers University Press. New York: Teachers College. 18. HALLENBECK. 12.." Adult Education 2: 59-66." Review of Educational Re. Annual September 1952. "Education in Industrial Relations. AMBROSE. DURRIE. 25. Recreative Leisure. 19. 8. Workers Education at the University Level. Washington. S. Department of Agriculture and Epsilon Sigma Phi. INSTITUTE OF FIELD STUDIES.94. PAUL L.MARYS. 154-63. SPENCE. MORRISON. 1951. and WooD. DAVIDH." Adult Education 2: 28-31. 35. 272 p. Report. Education. 36. IRVING. New York: PrenticeHall." Adult Education 2: 205-207.RALPHK. 393 p.HERBERTM. and KESSEL. S. H. 17." Adult Education 2: 8-17. FREDA Life. September 1952. 1951. B. "Why Adults Attend School. 1950. NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION. 20. Bulletin 1952. CLAUDE J. 1952. WILLIAMR. 1951.. C. FORD FOUNDATIONFUND FOR ADULT EDUCATION. RALPHB. September 1952. JOSEPH. Financing Adult Education in Selected Schools and Community Colleges. 28. 3 LUKEM.ROBERT bia University Press. 1949. BRYSON. November 1952. September 1952. "Adult Education-An Overview. 324-32. 298-303. C. The Next America. Norton and Co.: the Association. December 1951. 215-25. 11. "Parent Education for Home and Family LYLE. Washington. 31. NICHOLSON.33 on Sat. 28 Sep 2013 01:09:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . W. October 1951. The Fund for Adult Education. Adult Educacation 2: 189-92. DAVID H. The Public Library in the United States.WILBUR C. directors.. New York: Harper and Brothers. CALIVER. and KEHM.." Adult Education Bulletin 13: 172-77. September 1952. CALVER. 110-15. 1952. June 1950. DIVISION OF ADULT EDUCATION SERVICE." Adult Education 2: 197-202. S. LORGE. FLETCHER.

D. Government Printing Office. Problems in Education. 40. GEORGE D. UNESCO. 803-40. C. 1951.33 on Sat. 120 p. 1949. "Agricultural and Home Economics Extension Work. 1949.: Superintendent of Documents. (Publication 636) Paris: the Organization. STANLEY. MILBURNL. p. 28 Sep 2013 01:09:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .." Adult Education 2: 188-89.June 1953 1953 ADULT EDUCATION-AN EDUCATION-AN OVERVIEW ADULT OVERVIEW 38. 2. Columbia University." WILLIAM C. STRAYER. "Student Motives and Teaching Methods in Four Informal Adult Classes. and WILKINS. A Preliminary Appraisal of Financing Public School Adult Education Programs in New York State. 43. The Report of a Survey of the Public Schools of the District of Columbia." Bulletin of the School of Education (University of Michigan) 22: 103-106. Adult Education: Current Trends and Practices. 42. WILSON. HARRY D. ALVIN. New York: Teachers College. September 1952. RALPHJ.94. April 1951. WEAVER. 148 p. (Doctor's thesis) 39. director. LEON. 201 This content downloaded from 146. 41. THAYER." Adult Education 3: 31-34.. Washington. "Civil Defense Training. September 1952. 44. ZANDER. November 1952.155. Adult Education 2: 192-97. "Vocational Education for Adults.