Culture and Adult Education: A Study of Alberta and Quebec by Hayden Roberts

By Hayden Roberts

Starting with the speculation that grownup schooling in a zone is formed by means of its dominant social philosophy or tradition, the background and traits of grownup schooling in Canadian provinces, Alberta and Quebec, are contrasted.

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President Nyerere uses the term "national ethic" (1967:6). , 1967). : 7). Here is an example of a clearly identifiable statement of social policy as a guide to action. Nyerere refers to democratic socialism as a distinguishing feature of Tanzania, and one of his aims as equal opportunity to all men and women irrespective of race, religion, or status. Writing about educational systems, Anderson (1961-62) suggests two types: a status-selective or elitist system, and an equalitarian mass system; these seem to reflect broad political philosophy in the sense that an equalitarian education system is more likely than an elitist one to reflect the Tanzanian national ethic as proclaimed by President Nyerere.

And Mills and Gerth (1964:251-52) take the idea further by suggesting that the political, economic, religious, military, and kinship orders impose certain goals and structures in the educational sphere. These views refer to the formal system of primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. They have been questioned by some in recent years, in the sense that though this state of affairs predominates in schools, the process of learning even there has the potential to be—and should be—subversive of the controlling educational values and practices.

The second consideration that points to the primacy of the needs of the learner in the total adult education picture is that through the democratic process the needs of the people should be reflected in the formulation of the dominant social philosophy from which institutional structures are created and resources are, in turn, available to meet those needs. This consideration does not, however, seem to be able to controvert the reality that the democratic process is insufficiently perfect to ensure the fulfilment of the needs of minorities, by whatever characteristic those minorities are identified: socio-economic status, age, race, geographic location, and so forth.

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