This is a pithy assessment of where adult education now stands - the traditions out of which it came, its current problems, and possible futures. The authors are particularly concerned with how its longstanding commitment to deliver social change ran into difficulties in the less favourable circumstances of the 1980s and 1990s. They argue that its purposes now need to be reconceptualized in order for it to become, once again, a relevant and effective agent of change.
The authors remind adult educationists of their traditional commitment to social action by surveying the ideas of seminal adult education thinkers as they developed historically in Europe, North America and later the Third World. They show how today‘s very different context has eroded that original vision and purpose.
The book concludes by identifying four possible future scenarios; the challenges confronting an adult education still committed to social change; and the key features which they believe can contribute to ‘learning our way out of‘ the current impasse.