Perspectives on the Past the Adult Education Movement Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Adult education [...] three major elements regarding the history of adult education that have had the greatest impact on adult education today. Three of the most important elements that still impact adult education today are the U.S. Department of Agriculture and The Land Grant Act (The Morrill Act) that helped form Land Grant educational institutions, and formed the backbone of the Cooperative Extension System formed in 1914, as well. Cooperative Extension services continue today in all the states, they are a large area of adult education in society, offering classes in everything from gardening to health, and often they are free. Next, is the Chautauqua Institution, and finally is the American Association of Adult Education, formed in 1926.

The Morrill Act, passed in 1862, helped create colleges in every state in the union. These colleges would teach the necessities of life at the time, including agriculture, mechanical arts, and homemaking. The congressional representative behind the act, Justin Smith Morrill, believed that all levels of society deserved education. In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act established the Cooperative Extension service and linked it to the land-grant institutions in every state. Cooperative Extension was geared toward adult education, especially in agriculture, but today that instruction has expanded. Initially, CE taught farmers and their wives how to farm more efficiently, manage their farms more effectively, and even taught the wives cooking and sewing skills. Today, they have expanded into other areas, like technology, pest management, and biotechnology, and their main focus is still adult education. It is important for the adult education system today because they were one of the first agencies to fully address adult education, and they helped develop some of the processes for adult education still in place in today's institutions.

The Chautauqua Institution is extremely important in adult education history, because it was also developed expressly for adults, and it included correspondence study in its curriculum, one of the first implementations of what would become a major part of study in many adult education…

Sources Used in Document:


Hiemstra, R. (2009). An annotated chronology of landmarks in the history and development of adult education with particular reference to the U.S.A. Retrieved 30 Nov. 2009 from the Syracuse University Web site:

Merriam, S.B. And Brockett, R.G. (2007). The profession and practice of adult education: An introduction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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