Daniel Schugurensky, Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT)

Questions and Answers on Adult Education

Edited by Daniel Schugurensky

This site includes questions and answers on Adult Education that were written by students in the course 'Outline of Adult Education' at OISE/UT. The questions are first raised in class by the students themselves. Then they organize in teams in order to research and answer them. New entries are added regularly. This website is intended to provide information about the field to new students and to those who have a general interest in Adult Education. Anyone is welcome to submit a question and/or answer.


Who are the main theorists of adult education, and what are their theories about?

Several authors have influenced the field of adult education through their writings. Among them are Jane Addams, Dame Nita Barrow, Moses Coady, Paulo Freire, Ettore Gelpi, Antonio Gramsci, N.F.S. Grundtvig, Myles Horton, Roby Kidd, Malcolm Knowles, David Kolb, Ruth Kotinsky, Eduard Lindeman, Jack Mezirow, Julius Nyerere and Jane Thompson. Some of them did not write specifically about adult education (e.g., Gramsci), but their ideas nevertheless made an impact on adult education theory. For a description of the contributions made by some of these authors and others, here is a link to the National-Louis University Adult Education webpage entitiled "Adult Educators You Should Know": http://nlu.nl.edu/ace/fr_People.html. For some more links to webpages on adult education theory, see Kimeiko Hotta Dover's webpage on Adult Learning Theorists: http://adulted.about.com/cs/adultlearningthe/. Kimeiko is a former graduate from Adult Education at OISE and her website on adult education (http://adulted.about.com) is full of useful information.

For those interested in the theoretical contributions of Kurt Lewin, Edgar H. Schein, and Peter M. Senge to organizational change (a particular area within the field of adult education), see question #13 of this list. 

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Last updated on January 22, 2003.