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Power in Practice: Adult Education and the Struggle for Knowledge and Power in Society

ISBN: 978-0-7879-4729-3
336 pages
November 2000, Jossey-Bass
Power in Practice: Adult Education and the Struggle for Knowledge and Power in Society (0787947296) cover image

Description

"The single most important contribution to our field's knowledge base in the past two decades. The authors have managed to shift the focus of adult education back to the social concerns that were taken for granted when the field was founded. We are ready for this long overdue book. Indeed, we have been yearning for this book. It will tilt our field back towards its moral center."
B. Allan Quigley, chair, Department of Adult Education, St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia

"Power in Practice is a wonderful book--full of case studies, updated theories, new perspectives, and evidence that adult education can and does change people's lives."
Michael Newman, senior lecturer in adult education, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Adult educators know that they can no longer focus solely on the needs of learners without responsibly addressing the political and ethical consequences of their work. Power in Practice examines how certain adult education programs, practices, and policies can become a subtle part of power relationships in wider society. It provides a rich array of real-world cases that highlight the pivotal role of adult educators as "knowledge and power brokers" in the conflict between learners and the social forces surrounding them. The authors discuss how to teach responsibly, develop effective adult education programs, and provide exemplary leadership in complex political contexts, including the workplace and higher education. Educators in the middle of power struggles will learn how to become more politically aware while actively shaping their enterprises to meet important social needs.

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Table of Contents

1. At the Heart of Practice: The Struggle for Knowledge and Power (Ronald M. Cervero & Arthur L. Wilson).

Part I: Adult Education and Work.

2. The Power of Economic Globalization: Deskilling Immigrant Women Through Training (Shahrzad Mojab).

3. Silent Power: HRD and the Management of Learning in the Workplace (Fred M. Schied, et al.).

4. The Power of Discourse: Defining Work-Related Learning in the "Learning Age" (Elaine Butler).

5. The Power of the State: Connecting Lifelong Learning Policy and Educational Practice (Kjell Rubenson).

Part II: Adult Education in Colleges and Universities.

6. The Politics of Globalization: Transformative Practice in Adult Education Graduate Programs (Budd L. Hall).

7. The Power of Race and Gender: Black Women's Struggle and Survival in Higher Education (Juanita Johnson-Bailey).

8. The Politics of Positionality: Teaching for Social Change in Higher Education (Elizabeth J. Tisdell).

9. Transforming Boundaries of Power in the Classroom: Learning from La Mestiza (Mechthild Hart).

Part III: Technologies of Practice in Adult Education.

10. The Politics of Access and Communication: Using Distance Learning Technologies (Nod Miller).

11. A Political Analysis of Discussion Groups: Can the Circle Be Unbroken? (Stephen Brookfield).

12. The Politics of Place: Producing Power and Identity in Continuing Education (Arthur L. Wilson).

13. Solidarity and Power in Urban Gay Communities: Planning HIV Prevention Education (Kimberly B. Sessions & Ronald M. Cervero).

14. Power in Practice: A New Foundation for Adult Education (Arthur L. Wilson & Ronald M. Cervero).
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Author Information

RONALD M. CERVERO is professor in the Department of Adult Education at the University of Georgia. He is coauthor of Planning Responsibly for Adult Education (Jossey-Bass, 1994) and author of numerous articles on the politics of adult education, program planning, and continuing education for the professions.

ARTHUR L. WILSON is associate professor in the Department of Education at Cornell University. He is coauthor of Planning Responsibly for Adult Education (Jossey-Bass, 1994) and coeditor of the Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education (Jossey-Bass, 2000) and Adult Education Quarterly.

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Reviews

"...well written, very readable, and well referenced and documented...Highly recommended." (Choice)

"This book will be the single most important contribution to our field's knowledge base in the past two decades. The authors have managed to shift the focus of adult education back to the social concerns that were taken for granted when the field was founded. We are ready for this long overdue book. Indeed, we have been yearning for this book. It will tilt our field back towards its moral center." (B. Allan Quigley, chair, Department of Adult Education, St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia)

"Cervero and Wilson have done us a great service. Until now, the debate on power in adult education has been disparate and sporadic. In this book, Cervero and Wilson set about putting this right. They have invited leading writers in the field to examine theory and practice in terms of power. They have not asked them to abandon their own particular passions but to revisit them, analyze them, and take their thinking further. And they have asked them to locate their thinking and rethinking in descriptions of practice. Power in Practice is a wonderful book-full of case studies, updated theories, new perspectives, and evidence that adult education can and does change people's lives." (Michael Newman, senior lecturer in adult education, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)

"This is a must read book for practitioners and professors. The authors have clearly and provocatively reconceptualized our field of practice: power and privilege can no longer be ignored. The adult educator is on the 'hot seat' for the decisions made; facilitators are no longer benign, objective professionals executing their prescribed roles. Each of us must own up to our choices of who will and who will not profit from the programs we plan or administer." (Phyllis Cunningham, distinguished teaching professor, Northern Illinois University)
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