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The Meaning of Adult Education Paperback – July, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0962248818 ISBN-10: 0962248819

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Oklahoma Research Ctr for (July 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0962248819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0962248818
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,128,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Domer on November 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Eduard C. Lindeman's profound insight into teaching methods, learning theories, and diverse motivations for adult learning are beautifully illustrated in his classic work: The Meaning of Adult Education. Lindeman's ideas are original, comprehensive in their approach to the adult learner, and express a breath of understanding of adult education, which was not to be formally developed by theorists until decades later.

Lindeman originally published this book in 1926, and like Myles Horton, he was influenced by the world around him. Horton (Adams, 1975) and Lindeman both had first-hand knowledge about Danish developments in adult education. Lindeman was impressed by the folk school that he experienced on a trip to Denmark in 1920. The Volkshochschulen was a place where farmers came to pursue self-improvement. (p., xli) Danes participated in vast cooperatives, and these economic enterprises gave them leisure time to devote to adult education while providing everyone with a comfortable standard of living. At a time in the United States when industrialization and labor movements in the north and Jim Crow in the south perpetuated poverty and Black Sunday looming on the horizon, the Danish Volkshochschulen must have seemed like a utopia. The Volkshochschulen had a tremendous impact on Lindeman and his ideas about the possibilities of adult education.

"The whole of life is learning," writes Lindeman (p. 5). This exemplifies Lindeman's timeless ideas about life-long learning and that he believed adult education is one point on a continuum of learning. In the chapter entitled Those Who Need to be Learners, Lindeman demonstrates his deep insight into how adults learn.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Petek on November 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lindeman's The Meaning of Adult Education is a collection of essays regarding his views on adult education. His background was in social work, and his essays ring with words that suggest how educating adults can bring about change ...to the learners themselves, as well as society. Each one describes how a particular aspect or focus (be it power, knowledge, or freedom, etc) contributes to an adult's goal of growing. For example, in the first chapter he notes that experience should be the textbook for an adult learner, and he condemns the authoritative teaching found in public schools. In the essay on Power he applies it towards organized labor movements. The Self Expression chapter tells adult educators to pay attention to what activities bring joy to their students. This process of growing and changing comes about through adult education. His postscript ties all the essays together with the statement that "Growth is the goal of life. Power, knowledge, freedom, enjoyment, creativity--these and all other immediate ends for which we strive are contributory to the one ultimate goal which is to grow, to become." (p.128).

I think Lindeman's book has proven its worth. Eighty years later, the adult education themes that Lindeman outlined are still in existence. Namely, that experience/situations not subjects/textbooks should guide the adult learner; education should be tailored to each specific student; education is an art; a teacher should assist a student in learning methods of self-discovery; education is a process, not an end; yes/no questions aren't worth asking; local affairs are more important than distant ones; and act on what you're learning to make positive changes in the society around you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Humble on November 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think Lindeman is a great adult education theorist whose work was influenced by his late, nontraditional entry into education. I found his writing to be poetic and inspirational. Almost everything he wrote is quotable and very relevant to adult education today. The Meaning of Adult Education is a book I will keep as a resource to refer to again and again.
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Format: Paperback
Thomas Barnes

Lindeman Review

ADED5510

University of Wyoming

October 31 , 2006

Lindeman, E.C. (1961). The Meaning of Adult Education. Canada: Harvest House.

(1989 rev. Ed.). Norman, OK: Oklahoma Research Center for Continuing Professional and Higher Education.

In adult education today "the more we know about adult learning, the more effective our practice in the classroom, in the workplace, or in our communities" (Merriam, 2001, p. 1). Therefore, valid information about the purpose, meaning, and processes of adult education is useful indeed. In 1926, Eduard Lindeman provided a new sense of awareness to the field of adult education as he shared critical and beneficial insights. His book, titled The Meaning of Adult Education thoroughly examines adult education. The answers to the puzzling questions concerning adult education are interspersed throughout the philosophically challenging text. However, the pieces of the puzzle are drawn together toward the end of the book. The reader then comes to the realization that the totality of Lindeman's effort has answered the critical queries about the purpose, meaning, and processes of adult education.

This seminal work of Lindeman transmits understanding of the foundations of adult education. A profound purpose is stated as the author "reflects progressive education's faith in education's ability to develop the individual and social intelligence, that is, the practical understanding of the world in which we live" (Merriam, 1984, p. 17). This end is accomplished through the revelation of his underlying assumptions of adult education.
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