Canadian Adult Education: Still a Movement?


  • Mark Selman



In this journal’s Fall 2009 issue, the Forum section included an article by Gordon Selman and Mark Selman arguing that although Canadian adult education had existed as a social movement in the middle part of the 20th century, it is no longer a social movement. They also speculated about the causes of this change. In the Spring 2011 issue, Tom Nesbit responded that although the political influence of the field has declined, it is still a movement. He also argued that the purported causes were not significant or not relevant. This response to Nesbit recognizes and accepts the strengths of the field but argues that those strengths do not make it a social movement. It also argues that Nesbit has misconstrued the arguments intended to show that the distinctively Canadian aspects of the movement worked against it in its later years, and that a fear of missionary-like activities worked against asense of cohesion within the social movement.

Author Biography

Mark Selman

Mark Selman develops and manages educational programs in the Faculty of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, where he has worked for the past 21 years. Most of his work is with large corporations and First Nations communities. He is a former board member of the Canadian Association for Adult Education and a past president of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education. He is a co-author of The Foundations of Adult Education in Canada and has written a number of articles on philosophical and educational topics. His current passion is the development of an EMBA program focused on Aboriginal busi- ness and leadership, scheduled to start in September 2012.






Forum / Tribune