Adult Education: Discipline Still in Search ofDefinition, Focus, Recognition and Patronagein Nigerian Society
Keywords:Adult education, Stakeholders, Contextual, Content-driven, Pragmatic, Discipline.
AbstractThere is the need to revisit the challenges being faced by and in Adult education in view of what the discipline has been experiencing as a course of study. In spite of its long tenure, scope and usefulness to individuals, groups, corporate bodies, and the society at large, the discipline’s growth and development in Nigeria are, unarguably, at very low ebb. These challenges revolve around its definition, status, recognition and or popularity, acceptance and patronage all of which usually reflect in subscription by candidates seeking admissions in Nigerian tertiary institutions. Adult Education also experiences some measure of non acceptability from already admitted students into its programmes as they make frantic effort to change to other courses of study. This challenging situation is mostly from a number of factors which include: 1) wrong perception of the discipline; 2) lack of understanding of what Adult education is all about; 3) poor attitude toward the concept of Adult Education; 4) activities of its practitioners, especially thinkers and writers within the field; and 5) the non-encouraging attention being paid to it within academic institutions and by the authorities therein. This paper discussed the concept and conception and misconception of Adult Education as a body of knowledge and, as an academic discipline with a view to show-casing how it has been variously defined and described. The paper also examined the variety of nomenclature being given to adult education by different universities as Departments, (where it has at all) in Nigeria. The peculiar experience of the discipline in Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State Nigeria, forms part of the burdens of this paper; while it made some suggestions for consideration by the stakeholders to improve its status, recognition, popularity and patronage for a pride of place within the academic endeavor, particularly in Nigeria.
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