Adult Education At the Crossroads: Learning Our Way Out

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Zed Books, Apr 7, 2001 - Education - 207 pages
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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.

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This is an excellent book, still worth consulting for research and practice purposes. It does not only provide us with information on the origins and history of education in general and adult education, lifelong education/lifelong learning in particular, but also the connection between education/learning and development. For a student of adult education and lifelong learning, the book is a comprehensive text of theories of education and the relationship between adult education and development, with ideas still relevant to today’s academic discourses in many societies of the world. If you want to understand theories and educational activities that have shaped and paved the path to the concept of lifelong learning as we know it today, read Finger's and Asun’s Adult Education at the Crossroads: Learning our way out. Short Review by Dr Haaveshe Nekongo-Nielsen, Senior Lecturer of Lifelong Learning, University of Namibia. 


Learning Webs
The Main Historical Traditions
A Genuine American Highway
The Lonely Traveller on
Adult Education
Crossroads and Dead Ends
Dead End
The Theory of Learning Our Way Out
The Practice
Synthesis and Analysis
Adult Education Deinstitutionalisation

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About the author (2001)

Matthias Finger is a member of the Commision on Environmental Strategy and Planning of the IUCN (the World Conservation Union). He has published widely in English, French and German on social issues including ecology, development, management, adult education and the peace movement. His books include (with Pratap Chatterjee), The Earth Brokers: Power, Politics and Development (1994) and (with Thomas Princen), Environmental NGOs in World Politics: Linking the Global and the Local (1994). He is currently professor of management of public enterprises at the Graduate Institute of Public Administration (IDHEAP) in Lausanne.Jose Manuel Asun is a Spanish adult educator who for many years (1984-92) was director of the Ministry of Education's Adult Education Territorial Centre in Zaragoza. When writing this book, he was a research fellow at the University of Barcelona's Centre for Research on the Education of Adults. His professional experience has included a spell as a resident specialist at the UNESCO Institute of Education (Hamburg, Germany). He has also served as the Spanish Government's representative on the IFOMA Programme of UNESCO's regional bureau in Dakar, Senegal. He currently works for the Regional Ministry of Education of Aragon.

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