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The Meaning of Adult Education

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,638,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
I wonder how many academic texts, or texts that deal with the human condition will still be as relevant as Lindeman's 'The Meaning of Adult Education' (MAE) is so long after it was first published in 1923.

Like many other professionals, I arrived here after reading Knowles' seminal 'The Adult Learner' in which he references Lindeman on several occasions. Like Knowles (and Palmer Parker's 'The Courage to Teach), this work has a very keen sense of being structures around a narrative rather than being merely a linear academic text. Like the aforementioned too, MAE rejects the current trend for verbose, obtrusive and endless referencing and cannibalisation of pre-existing sources and displays sufficient conviction, integrity and confidence it its own thesis so as to present its own ideas, to place its own hypothesis on the table for scrutiny and dissection, something which, alas, almost no modern academic text has the mettle to do. Rather than pontificate any further I shall allow the light of Lindeman to shine through.

Some memorable quotations:
`Adult education is an attempt to discover a new method and create a new incentive for learning; its implications are qualitative, not quantitative. Adult learners are precisely those whose intellectual aspirations are least likely to be aroused by the rigid, uncompromising requirements or authoritative, conventionalised institutions of learning.' (p.28)

`The king, dictator, employer or teacher who does things for others which they might have accomplished for themselves thereby weakens the capacity and worth of citizens, workers and students.' (p.48)

`Our minds [...] are not repositories into which knowledge is dumped in the hope that it can be reclaimed in the hour of need' (p.
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