Academic journal article Adult Learning

Reflections on Graduate Students and the AAACE Organization

Academic journal article Adult Learning

Reflections on Graduate Students and the AAACE Organization

Article excerpt

One of the most significant aspects of my own experience as an Adult Education doctoral student was taking part in the annual AAACE conference. Participating in the conference offered me an opportunity to get to know students from around the country and expand my own thinking through these interactions. As my involvement in the conference grew, I found a home with the Students of Adult Education special interest group. Over the past five years I have watched this group grow and become an integral part of the AAACE annual conference. Last year over 50 students gathered together for the annual breakfast! It has been exciting to watch the involvement of students increase as they make presentations, fill vital roles as volunteers, and most importantly, share of themselves as part of the learning community.

On a number of occasions I have had someone at the conference ask me why we give out ribbons to graduate students at the conference that identify them as "students". I assume some might think that the students are being identified or singled out in a way that is condescending. Good adult learning theory would argue that we all are students, lifelong learners on the path, always learning, always growing. So what greater badge of honor could we bestow than that of "student"? I am so glad that AAACE recognizes those among us at that special place in their lives where they are hyper-focusing in their experiences as adult learners. …

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