The history of the American Association of Adult & Continuing Education (1926) The history of the American Association of Adult & Continuing Education (1926) Introduction The American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) was founded on the belief that lifelong learning would add value to human fulfillment and positive social change…
History of AAACE Adult education operations in the United States have been dependant on interaction of five dimensions including “institutional, content, geographical, personnel, and activity” (Henschke). Numerous types of voluntary adult education institutions mainly included professional societies or associations. In the opinion of Knowles (as cited in Henschke), the adult educational role has two perspectives; (1) facilitating adult education by means of publications, conferences, and educational travel, and (2) motivating different associations and general public by providing educational resources regarding their areas of interest through various channels including mass media and publications. In the United States, adult education had not obtained considerable importance before 1924. In 1921, The National Education Association established the Department of Immigrant Education (DIE) in order to extent its operations to adult education field; the DIE was renamed to Department of Adult Education (NEA/DAE) after broadening its scope in 1924. Kessner and Rosenblum (1999) report that in 1923, Frederick P. Keppel, President of the Carnegie Corporation envisioned an association that could work effectively to unify adult education programs in the country. Carnegie Corporation called a series of regional conferences by 1925 and early 1926 with intent to achieve its goal of establishing a new national organization for adult education. As a result of these intense efforts, the American Association for Adult Education (AAAE) was established on 26th March 1926 at a national organizational meeting held in Chicago. Since purposes, programs, and memberships of both the NEA/DAE and AAAE were extensively overlapped, a strong sentiment developed for the merging of these two associations by 1949 which resulted in the formation of Adult Education Association of the United States on May 14, 1951. In 1952, the AEA/USA approved the operations of National Association for Public School Adult Education with intent to focus on the educational requirement of adult educators serving in public schools. The NAPSAE became a department of NEA in 1955. During the next thirty years, the NAPSAE grew into a separate organization and its name was changed to the National Association for Public Continuing Adult Education (NAPCAE). On realizing that they shared many members and objectives but had only limited resources, both AEA/USA and NAPCAE decided to integrate its operations. Consequently, AEA/USA and NAPCAE were amalgamated to form the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) during the National Conferences held at San Antonio in Texas in 1982 (Adult education association). Even though the AAACE continued to serve as the primary association for adult education, it restructured its goals and strategies to meet the different interests of a wide range of audiences in adult education. The Commission of Professors of Adult Education (CPAE) was formed in 1955 on the strength of the financial assistance provided by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The CPAE worked very closely with AAACE and its main was to assist the full time professors to carefully evaluate their own work, frame decisions on common issues, and choose most preferable courses of action. As Kasworm, Rose and Ross-Gordon ...
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