History of Education: Selected Moments of the 20th Century

A work in progress edited by Daniel Schugurensky
Department of Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology,
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT)


Manifesto of The Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE)

The Canadian Association for Adult Education confronting the challenge of world events, in its annual convention of May, 1943, desires to affirm its stand in regard to the basic issues of the crisis and to call upon all interested individuals and groups to share with the Association the urgent educational task of creating and strenthening those attitudes and understandings upon which a new Canadian and world society can be founded.

The C.A.A.E. believes that in this day of total war and total challenge, academic aloofness and neutrality are not enough and that it is obliged to declare itself categorically upon those basic issues of human principle which underlie the social and economic, and spiritual problems of our times.

The C.A.A.E. therefore affirms its adherence to the following principles:

    a) The principle of total and mutual responsibility -- of each for all and all for each -- both as between persons and as between nations. This must be made operative even towards the criminal or underprivileged individual and the guilty or underprivileged nation.

    b) Social controls and planning are a necessary expression of this sense of social responsibility. Planning need not necessarily involve governmental ownership of, control over, or active interference with, economic enterprises. Neverthless, it is probable that the area of public ownership and control should be extended in those enterprises most essential to human welfare, and where individual enterprise is unable or unwilling operate in the public interest. It is still more desirable that the area of voluntary co-operative activity in every field should be increased.

    c) Human beings are ends not means. Planning must be combined with such local and community participation and democratic vigilance as to prevent the regimentation and frustration of the human personality. Social efficiency and social security are not ends in themselves but are for the sake of human dignity and personal fulfilment.

    d) Efficient service to the community, and not social privilege, financial power or property rights, should determine the status of the individual.

    e) The greater importance of consumption over production as the determining factor in economic activity must be re-asserted. Consumption goals, such as meeting decent standards of nutrition and housing, should be the main incentive of economic life.

    f) Social goals take precedence over individual and sectional purposes of profit or advantage. This principle asserts itself in time of war and must be maintained for the winning of the peace. Great collective purposes of social security, world nutrition, slum clearance, reforestation, soil conservation etc., are emphatically necessary as binding forces uniting our people, motivating economic life, and giving dynamic content to planning and to the effort after full employment.

    g) Neither the old individualism nor the newer mass-collectivism but a relationship of voluntary co-operation, which balances rights with responsibilities, is the basic pattern of the emergent social order. Such a relationship of voluntary co-operation has a place for central planning and control as well as for the legitimate liberties and enterprises of the individual. In the international sphere it supports the obligations of a collective system for defence and for the maintenance of world peace.

The C.A.A.E. will seek the co-operation of all individuals and organisations who endorse these principles in formulating and executing a whole-hearted campaign of public education directed towards the winning of a people's war and a people's peace.

Please hang this up for ready reference.


  • Canadian Association for Adult Education (1943). Manifesto of the CAAE. Toronto: Author.

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