UBC Theses and Dissertations
Deja vu : an overview of 20th century adult education in British Columbia as reported by the mainstream press Stamm, Raimund Robert
Problem: With a few notable exceptions, the history of adult education in British Columbia has received relatively little attention. What information there is, is often confined to somewhat narrow time frames, locations, or topics. A general overview of the history of adult education in British Columbia during the 20th century seems to be lacking. This study is a modest attempt to begin adding voice to this important but largely overlooked area. Conceptual Approach: The approach taken is one of historical review. The study, while to some degree quantitative, is much more interested in the qualitative aspects of the material examined. Newspapers, which the author suggests provide a unique historical record, serve as the sole source of data. Methodology: The B.C. Legislative Library Newspaper Index from 1900 -1999 is the source of documents for this study. A thorough reading of all newspaper articles (550+), cited as being related to adult education, was undertaken. Articles were grouped by decade and recorded. Within the decades certain themes were identified and also recorded. Two specific themes (lifelong learning and distance education) received special attention and were examined and recorded separately. Findings: There are a number of reoccurring themes that arise during the period examined. Many of these themes have a direct correlation to issues facing adult education today. These issues include, but are not limited to: • lifelong learning • distance education and related educational technology • duplication of services • libraries and adult education • defining/purpose(s) adult education. Since these and other issues are part of the current discourse about adult education, it seems reasonable that lessons learned/not learned in the past not be forgotten. With the benefit of historical hindsight, which includes sources that are not confined to potentially narrow interests, adult educators may become better informed by considering these issues.
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