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Historical and Contemporary Explorations of the Social Change and Spiritual Directions of Adult Education


by Leona M English 2005

This article addresses twin purposes of adult education: education for social change and education for spiritual growth. In reviewing the historical roots for both purposes, as well as emergent contemporary interests, the author makes the case that renewed attention is being, and ought to be, given to these purposes both by academics and by practitioners. The author argues that mining the field's history for its underlying inspirations and foci (read: purposes) may indeed be one way to address present struggles and to offer a way forward for adult education. Attention is given to key events in our present-day thinking and to the repository of adult education history, in order to explicate the long commitment of adult educators to spiritual and social change concerns.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 6, 2005, p. 1169-1192
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11907, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 2:04:36 AM

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About the Author
  • Leona English
    St. Francis Xavier University
    E-mail Author
    LEONA M. ENGLISH researches spiritual, international, and feminist issues in adult education. Her recent publications include An International Encyclopedia of Adult Education (Palgrave Macmillan, in press) and the coauthored Spirituality of Adult Education and Training (Krieger, 2003).
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