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Mapping The Field of Adult & Continuing Education, Volume Four: Inquiry and Influences

reviewed by Rosemary Papa - September 17, 2019

coverTitle: Mapping The Field of Adult & Continuing Education, Volume Four: Inquiry and Influences
Author(s): Alan B. Knox, Simone C. O. Conceição, & Larry G. Martin (Eds.)
Publisher: Stylus Publishing, Sterling, VA
ISBN: 1620365367, Pages: 128, Year: 2017
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In the foreword to Inquiry and Influences, Steven B. Frye, 2017 President of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), sets the stage by stating that the rapid-paced changes we are experiencing in our world call for an ongoing conversation to keep adult education relevant, fresh, and current (p. ix). Thus, the focus of this volume is to explore and add depth to the research, evaluation, and methods involved in understanding the major issues and influences in the adult education field.

The text is divided into four sections: Section Thirteen, Organizational and Societal Influences; Section Fourteen, Engaged Inquiry; Section Fifteen, Methods of Inquiry; and Section Sixteen,
Assessments and Evaluation. Because this is the fourth volume in a series, the chapter and page numbers start at Chapter Sixty-One and page 515, respectively. Each chapter begins with keywords that highlight the content of the article. These keywords provide useful insight and serve as advanced organizers for what follows. Additionally, all chapters end with a section entitled Suggested Cross-References, which refers readers to other articles across the four volumes in the series that consider related topics.

Section Thirteen considers how organizations and society influence adult and continuing education. The first chapter in the section, Chapter Sixty-One, covers the influence of national, regional, and global advocacy organizations (p. 517). The next chapter deals with the skills and proficiencies needed to fulfill labor market demands and the implications for adult education: Above all, adult educators are encouraged to perceive the shifts in the nature of work and the labor market as evidence of a broad process of social change that is reshaping opportunity structures in twenty-first-century society (p. 529). Professional associations and their role in responding to current and future needs are discussed in Chapter Sixty-Three. The partnership approaches, which include complementarity, continuity, hosting, and collaboration, are presented along with a comprehensive list of associations and their respective acronyms. Professional journals are noted in Chapter Sixty-Four in terms of types, special features, intended audiences, scholars, and organizations. In the final chapter of the section, Chapter Sixty-Five, the mission of land-grant colleges and universities is presented along with illustrative examples of partnerships.

In Section Fourteen, Engaged Inquiry, relatively short chapters present international examples of partnerships that impact adult education. The section begins with Chapter Sixty-Sixs discussion of community-engaged universities and their mission to serve as local creative boundary spanners between a university and community practitioners (p. 554). The phrase learning cities (p. 559) is introduced in Chapter Sixty-Seven, referring to adult education that transcends formal educational settings to include learning from business, arts, recreation, etc. The following four chapters (Chapters Sixty-Eight through Seventy-One) provide specific examples of learning cities in action. In Beijing, the Xicheng district set up a three-tiered system for community education and enhanced local development. In Taiwan, a community education movement was developed for adults. Finally, Ireland and the United States are presented as examples of countries that provide popular education (p. 571). In the final chapter of this section, Chapter Seventy-Two, adult education among the indigenous peoples of North America is discussed.

Section Fifteen, Methods of Inquiry, elaborates on several methods of inquiry utilized in the field of adult and continuing education. The five chapters cover concept mapping and knowledge modeling, historical research, personal perspective methodologies, andragogy, case studies, and design-based research. Chapter Seventy-Two considers the process of concept mapping and knowledge modeling in adult education. In addition to defining and providing examples, the chapter discusses future directions and implications for the field. Historical research in adult continuing education is the focus of Chapter Seventy-Three, while biographies, oral histories, and other personal perspectives (and the uses of these methods in teaching and research) are the subjects of Chapter Seventy-Four. The final chapter in the section is titled Educational Design Research (EDR). The author notes that EDR is not a specific research methodology, but rather an evolving research genre in which the iterative development of solutions to complex educational problems and the refinement of theoretical design principles provide the setting for rigorous scientific investigations (p. 610).

In the final section (Section Sixteen), three chapters examine the use of assessment and evaluation tools in the field, including program evaluation, proficiency self-assessment, and action technologies. Basic concepts of evaluation, guidelines, professional development, and future directions are covered in Chapter Seventy-Eight. In Chapter Seventy-Nine, the development and use of self-assessment tools are covered. Important influences, implications, and the future are discussed. Chapter Eightys discussion of action technologies conclude this fourth section.

The editors include an extensive glossary of terms and definitions used across the four volumes in the conclusion. Additionally, a comprehensive index is provided that covers the entire set of books. In sum, this final volume does exactly what is promised in the preface: to follow connections among topics to navigate among articles, discover additional publications, and find ideas to share with program stakeholders (p. xi).


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: September 17, 2019
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23094, Date Accessed: 1/28/2022 11:53:15 PM

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About the Author
  • Rosemary Papa
    Soka University of America
    E-mail Author
    ROSEMARY PAPA is currently the International Professor of Comparative Education and Leadership at Soka University of America in Southern California. From 2007 to 2018 she served as the Del and Jewel Lewis Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University. Her most recent book (2019) is School Violence in International Contexts: Perspectives from Educational Leaders Without Borders. She is currently the Editor in Chief for both the Oxford Encyclopedia in Educational Administration (2020) and the Springer Handbook Promoting Social Justice in Education (2020).
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