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Mapping the Field of Adult and Continuing Education: An International Compendium

reviewed by Royce Ann Collins - April 11, 2019

coverTitle: Mapping the Field of Adult and Continuing Education: An International Compendium
Author(s): Larry G. Martin, Simone C. O. Conceição, & Alan B. Knox (Eds.)
Publisher: Stylus Publishing, Sterling, VA
ISBN: 1620365332, Pages: 120, Year: 2017
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As the title states, this book is a compendium of concise articles about adult and continuing education. This particular book is Volume Three of a four-volume set. Volume Three focuses on leadership and administration and contains Sections Eight through Twelve of the compendium. The majority of articles are two to four pages in length with generally under ten references. Authors include graduate students, university professors and administrators, medical doctors, and CEOs, all of whom have some relationship to the field of adult education. It is not meant to provide in-depth analyses, but rather an abstract overview of a variety of topics within an extremely broad academic field.

Section Eight focuses on administration and coordination. It begins with an excellent background piece on andragogy and graduate programs from the European perspective. Other chapters in this section address administrative processes and functions that apply to any adult and continuing education organization, including leadership. The last article in this section discusses administration of adult basic education in southern Africa (specifically within the Southern African Development Community).

Section Nine tackles the area of planning and resource allocation. It starts with a brief overview of types of funding and how funding is generally secured. The articles that follow cover strategic planning for lifelong learning at a U.S. higher education institution, a six-step budgeting process for any general adult education organization, and curriculum revision. While it provides a good summation of the curriculum revision process, this last article seems out of place in this section.

Section Ten is a collection of four articles on organizational change and culture. The first discusses creating a positive environment for adult education higher education programs. The next article spotlights microaggressions and how to address this topic in the workplace. The last two articles are among the shortest and have a very narrow focus. Article Forty-Nine presents the results of a dissertation study on the experience of millennial black women in a predominately white higher education institution and Article Fifty centers on the topic of organizational citizenship behaviors.

Section Eleven is entitled leadership and vision. The first of the five articles in this section highlights the coaching leadership style. The second focuses on adult educators and administrators as change agents in social movements and their historical role in advancing social justice. The third article highlights the increasing prevalence of virtual collaboration and communication and the implications for leadership. The final two articles discuss adult education in Botswana and the need for leaders to use education as a tool for empowerment and social change worldwide.

Section Twelve, Structure and Stakeholders, provides examples of organizational sustainability and capacity-building. Topics covered include leadership challenges at non-profit organizations, community capacity-building, continuing professional education, and the need for flexibility in adult education programming. The last article in this section, written by a group of medical professionals, is about the creation of the first family medicine postgraduate training program in Ethiopia using the principles of adult education.

The volume closes with a glossary of terms, a list of the contents of the other three volumes in the compendium, and a brief bio of each of the editors and authors.

This volume only begins to scratch the surface of the breadth of topics related to adult education. While it  does contain a few articles written from an international perspective (i.e., Europe, Southern Africa, and Ethiopia), the majority of the articles are written by U.S. authors and are directed at a U.S. audience. The volume would be strengthened by the inclusion of more perspectives and perhaps by a list of additional, more in-depth resources for readers looking to learn more about a given topic.

True to the form of a compendium, the articles in each section jump from topic to topic and do not constitute a cohesive whole. Because of this as well as the lack of detail, this is not a volume that can be read or used as a textbook. Rather, the general nature of the majority of articles and the variety of topics will allow readers to use it as they would an encyclopedia.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 11, 2019
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22757, Date Accessed: 11/27/2021 6:59:11 PM

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About the Author
  • Royce Ann Collins
    Kansas State University
    E-mail Author
    ROYCE ANN COLLINS, PhD, is an associate professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Kansas State University. Dr. Collins’ interest include program evaluation, program assessment, and the study of the art of teaching adults. She is currently working on a project analyzing assessment data examining evaluator bias.
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