An Overview of Adult Education

ADHE 412 (3.0) Online – Course Outline


Evaluation of learning in this online course is based on three main learning activities (two topic assignments, the final assignment and participation).
The final grade is calculated based on percentages students assign to each of their activities. The agreement creates an opportunity for the student to decide the relative weight out of 100% that each learning activity will carry in the final grade within certain ranges for each activity. Students may re-negotiate the weightings up until each assignment is submitted.
This course is eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. To determine whether you can take this course for Credit/D/Fail grading, visit the Credit/D/Fail website. You must register in the course before you can select the Credit/D/Fail grading option


This online course is an introduction to the theory and practice of adult education and learning in Canada and the world. The course provides foundational knowledge and explores major ideas and issues, including the characteristics of adult learners, lifelong learning, the history, aims of and participation in adult education in various contexts, as well as access and barriers. Links between theory and practice are forged through applying the material to adult education practice, current topics and settings.
ADHE 412 is a core course for the Diploma in Education – Adult Learning and Education and for a BA Minor in Education, Community, Adult and Higher Education.  It is an approved elective for several programs in a number of Faculties. Please check with your Faculty or Program Advisor.
This online course will be of interest to people who facilitate adult learning or practice adult education in a broad array of formal, non-formal and informal settings. In particular it will appeal to community workers, trainers in business and industry, educators working in health-related fields (nutritionists, nurses, kinesiologists, dental hygienists), sports (personal trainers, coaches), teachers of English Language Learners, those contemplating doing or who have done development work overseas, community college employees, school teachers contemplating a career in adult education or anyone thinking of entering a university graduate program in adult education.


  1. Understand the breadth of the field of adult education
  2. Describe and apply key ideas (e.g. lifelong learning; formal, non-formal and informal education and learning)
  3. Grasp the social, cultural, political and economic factors that have and continue to influence adult learning and education
  4. Appreciate how adult learning and education theory and practice inform one another
  5. Critically analyze ideological and philosophical perspectives in adult learning and education and their implications for policy and practice
  6. Explore modes of teaching and learning in relation to culture
  7. Assess concepts and issues related to enrolment in adult education
  8. Recognise the relationship among civic engagement, democracy and adult learning and education
  9. Identify contextual factors, agencies, movements and programs that shape the character of “Canadian” adult education


This course will be offered online on Canvas –

  1. An Overview of the Field of Adult Learning and Education
  2. Key Ideas
  3. Canadian Adult Education and its Roots
  4. An Overview of Philosophical Perspectives
  5. Neoliberalism
  6. Critical and Transformative Approaches
  7. Women and Leadership
  8. Indigenous Adult Education in Canada and Around the World
  9. Culture, Teaching and Learning
  10. Enrolment and Barriers
  11. Adult Education and Civic Engagement


This is an online course. Students are required to have a computer, access to the Internet, and a Campus Wide Login ID and password to access the course website.
There is no textbook required.  All course materials are available within the course.


Your EZproxy connection will allow you to access library resources from your computer on or off campus. For more information, go to


Telephone: 604.822.2013, or toll-free in North America: 1.888.492.1122

Latest Revision on: October 25, 2018