Adult Education for Community Development

Adult Education for Community Development

Adult Education for Community Development

Adult Education for Community Development

Synopsis

Community development depends on effective social action, and effective social action requires the acquisition of related knowledge and skills. While other works on community development stress the role of economic and political factors, Hamilton's study is unique in its presentation of an educational model for promoting change within the community. The book is grounded on a theoretical base that recognizes the intrinsic motivation of many adults to improve their surroundings and which acknowledges that motivation must be matched with skills and information. At the heart of the study is a description and analysis of an educational community development model that can be modified to suit the needs and philosophies of a range of groups.

Excerpt

This book is about the learning and action process of citizen groups in their efforts to promote social change and community improvement. An alliance between citizen activists and professionals is advocated for maximum effectiveness. The educational thrust is aimed primarily at a critical mass of adult residents who are considered to be the most able agents for community development. Thus, adult education in its various facilitating formats comprises the educational model. A major premise of this book is that successful social action, which ultimately leads to community development, is contingent on learning about social phenomena affecting community life and on applying that learning to planning and problem solving. Much of the scholarly literature describing citizen groups and their efforts fails to sufficiently analyze and discuss learning and education as a purposefully structured component of social action and community development. The educational model of community development is fundamentally grounded in a set of assumptions that stress the acquisition and use of knowledge and skills as the behavioral attributes essential for citizen participation.

Adult education and community development have always been difficult to define to the satisfaction of most scholars and practitioners. However, it is generally agreed that formal adult education is any organized learning activity designed for adult learners with goals and objectives under the direct sponsorship of an education agency or institution. Nonformal adult education has all the aforementioned elements with the exception of the sponsorship requirement. Nonformal programs are sponsored by noneducation agencies or organizations or offered outside of formal agencies. Community development is a group-

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