digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















For the Hall & Oates song, see Adult Education (song).

Adult education is a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained learning activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values.[1] Adult education can take place through "extension" school (e.g., Harvard Extension School) or "school of continuing education" (e.g. Columbia School of Continuing Education). Adult education frequently occurs at schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and lifelong learning centers. The practice is at times referred to as andragogy to distinguish it from pedagogy.


Educating adults differs from educating children in several ways. One of the most important differences is that adults have accumulated knowledge and work experience which can add to the learning experience.[2] Another difference is that most adult education is voluntary, therefore, the participants are generally self-motivated. Adults frequently apply their knowledge in a practical fashion to learn effectively. They must have a reasonable expectation that the knowledge they gain will help them further their goals. For example, during the 1990s, many adults, including mostly office workers, enrolled in computer training courses. These courses would teach basic use of the operating system or specific application software. Due to the fact that the abstractions governing the user's interactions with a PC were so new, many people who had been working white-collar jobs for ten years or more eventually took such training courses, either at their own whim (to gain computer skills and thus earn higher pay) or at the behest of their managers.

In the United States, a more general example is when adults who dropped out of high school return to school to complete general education requirements. Most upwardly mobile positions require at the very least a high school diploma or equivalent. A working adult is unlikely to have the freedom to simply quit his or her job and go "back to school" full-time. Public school systems and community colleges usually offer evening or weekend classes for this reason. In Europe this is often referred to as "second-chance", and many schools offer tailor-made courses and learning programs for these returning learners. Furthermore, adults with poor reading skills can obtain help from volunteer literacy programs. These national organizations provide training, tutor certification, and accreditation for local volunteer programs. States often have organizations which provide field services for volunteer literacy programs.

Purposes of adult education may vary. One of its goals may be to help adult learners satisfy their personal needs and achieve their professional goals.[3] Therefore, its ultimate goal might be to achieve human fulfillment. The goal might also be to achieve an institution's needs. For example, this might include improving its operational effectiveness and productivity. A larger scale goal of adult education may be the growth of society by enabling its citizens to keep up with societal change and maintain good social order.[4]

The purpose of adult education in the form of college or university is distinct. In these institutions, the aim is typically related to personal growth and development as well as occupation and career preparedness. Another goal might be to not only sustain the democratic society, but to even challenge and improve its social structure.[5]

Another fast-growing sector of adult education is English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), also referred to as English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learners (ELL).[6] These courses are key in assisting immigrants with not only the acquisition of the English language, but the acclimation process to the culture of the United States.

A common problem in adult education in the US is the lack of professional development opportunities for adult educators. Most adult educators come from other professions and are not well trained to deal with adult learning issues. Most of the positions available in this field are only part-time without any benefits or stability since they are usually funded by government grants that might last for only a couple of years.


The Canadian Literacy and Learning Network outlines the, 7 key principles of adult learning. In other words, these 7 principles distinguish adult learners from children and youth.

  • 1. Adults cannot be made to learn. They will only learn when they are internally motivated to do so.
  • 2. Adults will only learn what they feel they need to learn. In other words, they are practical.
  • 3. Adults learn by doing. Active participation is especially important to adult learners in comparison to children.
  • 4. Adult learning is problem-based and these problems must be realistic. Adult learners like finding solutions to problems.
  • 5. Adult learning is affected by the experience each adult brings.
  • 6. Adults learn best informally. Adults learn what they feel they need to know whereas children learn from a curriculum.
  • 7. Children want guidance. Adults want information that will help them improve their situation or that of their children.[7]


There are several challenges adults face when it comes to continuing their education. Adult learners are affected by the lack of time balancing career and family demands, financial situation or lack of transportation.[8] Keeping adults motivated, instilling in them confidence, reinforcing positive self-esteem allows for them to develop into lifelong learners.[9] Another obstacle is fear, shyness, ego, or stigma that prevents an adult from pursuing further education.

See also[edit]

By geographic region[edit]




  1. ^ Merriam, Sharan, B. & Brockett, Ralph, G.. The Profession and Practice of Adult Education: An Introduction. Jossey-Bass, 2007, p. 7.
  2. ^ Bohonos, Jeremy Appreciating the Experiences and Expertise of Adult Students, Journal of College Orientation and Transition 20:2
  3. ^ Bohonos, Jeremy Understanding Career Context as a Key to Recruiting, Retaining and Best Serving Adult Students. Journal of Adult Learning, 2014, p. 28-30.
  4. ^ Merriam, Sharan, B. & Brockett, Ralph, G.. The Profession and Practice of Adult Education: An Introduction. Jossey-Bass, 2007, p. 7.
  5. ^ Merriam, Sharan, B. & Brockett, Ralph, G.. The Profession and Practice of Adult Education: An Introduction. Jossey-Bass, 2007, p. 7.
  6. ^ "Adult English Language Instruction". Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Canadian Literacy and Learning Network. Principles of Adult Learning. Jossey-Bass, 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.literacy.ca/professionals/professional-development-2/principles-of-adult-learning/
  8. ^ Phipps, S. T. A., Prieto, L. C., & Ndinguri, E. N. (2013). Teaching an old dog new tricks: Investigating how age, ability and self-efficacy influence intentions to learn and learning among participants in adult education. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 17(1), 13-25.
  9. ^ Kunga, K., & Machtmes, K. (2009). Lifelong learning: Looking at triggers for adult learning. The International Journal of Learning, 16(7), 501-511.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adult_education — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Hall & Oates - Adult Education

Hall & Oates: "Adult Education". Interesting imagery and props to say the least. One of the more memorable videos from my youth.

Adult Education - Daryl Hall & John Oates

Disclaimer: no copyright infringement intended. I own nothing. All content belongs to its rightful owners.

Adult Education

Adult Education,Live From Daryl's House with Daryl Hall and The Neon Trees.

Live From Daryls House - Adult Education -

Featuring: Johnnyswim - Abner and Amanda-Sudano Ramirez -

Hall & Oates - Adult Education (Live)

Hall & Oates - Adult Education (Live) The Liberty Concert July 4 1985 Liberty State Park, New Jersey Just prior to Live Aid, on July 4, 1985, Hall & Oates pe...

Hall & Oates - Adult Education | Non Stop Pop FM Radio Station | GTA V Soundtrack

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/adult-education/id199998241?i=200002922 No copyright infringement is intended.

Daryl Hall & John Oates - Adult Education (Special Extended Remix) (Slayd5000)

It's HALL & OATES WEEK on Slayd5000!! ** Slayd5000 presents... Daryl Hall & John Oates - Adult Education (Special Extended Remix) (Promo 12") N-joi! & sub...

Author Stephen Brookfield on adult education today

Author Stephen Brookfield on adult education today.

Adult Education (live at the Apollo) - Hall & Oates

"Adult Education" at the Apollo Theatre.

Daryl Hall - "Adult Education" featuring Chromeo (Live From Daryl's House - Episode 10)

Amazing video from Daryl Hall's free monthly webcast "Live From Daryl's House". http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/index.php.

1000000 videos foundNext > 

6907 news items

Nebraska City News Press
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:52:30 -0700

After a summer break, the Beatrice Adult Education/Nebraska City GED(r) and Basic Education classes will resume Aug. 18. Nebraska City classes meet at in the evenings at the Center for Children and Families on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-7:30.
Your Houston News
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:07:30 -0700

“This new partnership will help equip educators providing adult education and literacy services with additional training and education to help individuals meet the needs of Texas employers,” said TWC chairman Andres Alcantar. “This original approach ...
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:07:30 -0700

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Georgia is launching a campaign to get adults back in school who started but didn't finish their degrees. The "Go Back Move Ahead" campaign launched on Tuesday. Leaders of Georgia's four-year university and technical college systems ...
Nixa Xpress
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:48:45 -0700

Ozarks Technical Community College is accepting enrollment for its free Adult Education and Literacy classes held at the OTC Richwood Valley and Table Rock campuses. The classes provide individualized learning programs for adults who want to prepare ...
Northwest Arkansas News
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 23:46:06 -0700

About 3,000 people take basic education, English language or GED classes at the college's adult education department each year. Officials hope adult education students' exposure to the services and programs offered on campus will encourage more of ...

New York Times

New York Times
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 09:02:38 -0700

LONDON — Walking around her design studio in London's elegant Chelsea neighborhood, Jennifer Manners pulled out a box stocked full of all different-colored yarns, from deep blues to warm grays and spirited reds. “It's like a doctor's kit bag,” she ...

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:48:45 -0700

TRAIN PD is an innovative approach to providing key services to more than 2,500 adult education and literacy professionals statewide. “We are proud as a college to lead this project that expands TCALL's role in supporting quality instruction for adult ...
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:11:15 -0700

OGLESBY — The Adult Education program at Illinois Valley Community College is offering free General Educational Development (GED), Adult Basic Education (ABE), i-Pathways GED preparation online, English as a Second Language (ESL) and limited ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Adult education

You can talk about Adult education with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!