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Amanda Cash

Name: Amanda Cash, English Department

Presentation Title: "Arthur Bestor and Adult Education in America: 1920-1940"

Date: April 6, 2006


Various forms of adult education have existed within the United States for at least a century and a half, but it was not until the mid-1920s that these disorganized efforts and activities became united under a few select organizations and institutions. The formation of groups such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Association for Adult Education (AAAE) sparked a renewed interest in the purpose and pedagogy involved in educating adults. While the creation of central organization assisted in developing the concept and curriculum of adult education, many issues remain unresolved. This paper examines attempts to define "adult education" as a new field of study within the academic community using the papers of Arthur E. Bestor, President of the Chautauqua Institute and executive member of the AAAE, as well as the works of several members of those newly established adult education organizations.