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Jeanne E Bitterman

Professional Background

Educational Background

  • B.A., Queens College of the City University of New York - English Literature
  • M.A., New York University - Counseling
  • M.A., Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University - Adult Learning and Leadership, Department of Organization and Leadership

Scholarly Interests

  • Research Sponsorship – primary sponsor of over 60 successfully defended studies
  • Cultivation of Learning Communities
  • Distance Learning
  • Professional Development in Healthcare and Organizational Settings
  • Commitment to Social Action
  • Facilitation of Learning in Individual, Group and Organizational Settings
  • Critical Literacy & Adult Basic Education; International Women's Development & Empowerment Issues

Selected Publications

"When the Levees Broke" – An Exploration of Race and Class In An Educational Institution's Community Building Initiative: Utilizing Video & Action Research Formats for Incremental Transformative Learning and Culture Change," Transformative Learning Conference Proceedings, 8 pp. Nov. 2009

"Un-privatizing: A bridge to learning in depression," Virginia Crowe and Jeanne Bitterman, The Grounded Theory Review: An International Journal. Vol 8 no 1 pp. 31-52, 2009

"The Levees Community Building Intiatives,- Focus Group Reports" TC Community Building News, Vol 1, Issue 1, (pp 1-2); Teachers College, Columbia University, Office for Diversity and Community Affairs. Report on First Year's Initiatives. June 2009

"Second Community Building Event Interim Report from October 15, 2008," Teachers College Management Network and the President's Office for Diversity and Community Affairs. Feb 2009.

"First Community Building Event Report, from June 2008," Teachers College Management Network and the President's Office for Diversity and Community Affairs. Sept 2008

"Utilizing CoPs - Concepts in Adult Education Doctoral Study" Chapter 16, pp 311-332 in Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators. Paul Hildreth & Chris Kimble (eds.), Information Age Publishers, 2008 London, UK. ISBN 13:978-1-59311-862-4 2008.

"Race, Class, and Katrina in When the Levees Broke: Lessons designed for adult audiences," Bitterman, Rimmer and Alcantara, Ch. 4 in Teaching the Levees: A Curriculum for Democratic Dialogue and Civic Engagement, Margaret Crocco, ed., Teachers College Press, ISBN: 978-0-8077-5100-8, 2007

"Learning Communities" pp. 21-34, chapter in From the Learning Organization to Learning Communities toward a Learning Society, ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career and Vocational Ed, Info. Series #382, Center on Education and training for Employment, Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio, 2000

"Antilogical Aspects of Graduate Study in Adult Ed: Reflections on Motivational Conflicts in the AEGIS Program Experience" , pp. 81-115, chapter in Adult Education in the Perspective of the Learners, Knud Illeris, editor. Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University Press and the Danish Labour Market Authority and the Education Ministry, Denmark, 2000.

"Overcoming Remoteness in CME Videoteleconferencing: 'I Want My MD TV' ", Bitterman, Schappert, J. and J. Schaefer. The Journal of Cont. Ed in the Health Professions,Vol 20, #1, Winter, 2000

"Using Qualitative Research Methods: Moving Beyond Felt Needs in CME Design and Delivery" The Journal of Continuing Ed in the Health Professions, Vol. 19, #1., pp. 25-34 "Enhancing Educational Effectiveness in CME Winter 1999

Videoteleconferencing: What the Office Can do to Institutionally Increase Quality, Visuals, and Interactivity in CME Presentations, Alliance for CME: Almanac, Vol. 20, No. 3. 1998.

"What Do CME Course Directors Want From CME Leadership," Alliance for CME: Almanac, Vol 20, No. 1. 1998.

Workshops In the Workplace – A Guidebook for Administrators and Instructors Providing Workplace Education to the Health and Manufacturing Industries, Oct 1995 U.S. Department of Education, National Workplace Literacy Program, 144 pages. Available through Amazon.

"A Look At What's Happening Around the Country: New York City's Offsite Ed Services," in Dropout Prevention Newsletter, Publication of the National Dropout Prevention Center, Vol. 4., No. 4, p. 4. Fall 1990.

"Students at Risk-The Housing Community: NYCHA and OES,"The Benchmark: A Bimonthly Report on Occupational Ed in NY State, NYSED, Vol. 10, No. 1, p. 6. Sept 1990

"Federally Funded ABE: Community Based Delivery – An Alternative?", in Adult Ed and BasicLiteracy, Texas A & M, Vol. 25, 8. Fall 1985.

"Book Review: Materials & Methods for Teaching Adults, John P. Wilson, ed., Jossey-Bass, 1983" in Lifelong Learning, AAACE, Winter 1984.

Managing the GED Program: A Handbook for Administrators, Bitterman, J. et al. Division of Continuing Ed, NYSED, ISBN: 80-7820. 1981

Los Examenes de "GED" En Espanol – Dessarrolo De3 Educacion General, Bitterman, J. et al. Division of Cont. Ed, NYSED, ISBN: 80-7263. 1980.

office hours

By appointment.

custom course list

Adult Learning and Leadership Courses:

ORLD 4050 Introduction to Adult Learning
Students usually take this foundational course early in their program. This course offers a wide overview of learning theories, practice settings and the history and philosophy of adult education. Students obtain an understanding of core theories of adult education, explore context of culture and history on theory formation, differentiate application of theory based on fields of practice, examine underlying assumptions, and explore links between individual and collective learning.

ORLD 4053 Facilitating Adult Learning
This course provides an overall framework for examining the facilitation of adult learning; and offers students input into, and ownership of, their own course objectives. The course enables participants to: 1) gain perspectives on personal assumptions regarding the facilitation process, 2) become aware of their personal areas of need for acquiring enhanced knowledge and skills for more effective facilitation, 3) acquire / increase knowledge of effective methods and techniques, and 4) determine the usefulness of models, methods, and techniques for facilitating adult learning in context for adaptation in their own work.

ORLD 4054 Critical and Adult Basic Literacy
This course explores issues surrounding adult literacy and adult basic literacy from a critical theory and educator's perspective. Critical reading of representative literature and an in-field project offer further insight into contexts and a critical analysis of myths surrounding literacy and illiteracy.

ORLD 4500 Advanced Practice in Facilitating Adult learning
This course focuses on honing one's skills as a facilitator. It covers the range of individual facilitation, group facilitation and organizational facilitation. Participants work from a self-assessment and an individualized plan for self-improvement.

ORLD 4900 & 6900:
Research and independent study in adult education Faculty Permission required. These sections enable students to pursue a research project of their choosing with faculty guidance. Credits can vary for each.

ORLD 7500 Dissertation Proposal Defense
This course must be taken the semester the student defends the dissertation proposal.

ORLD 7900 Advanced Seminar in Dissertation Advisement
Faculty Permission required. This course is offered in either ALL or AEGIS and is a working seminar intended to assist students in the development of their proposals or in the data analysis and writing of their findings.

ORLD 8900: Dissertation Advisement in Adult Education
Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D./Ph.D. degrees.


ORLD 6800: Workshop in Adult Education
Workshop in Critical and Adult Basic Literacy This course explores issues surrounding adult literacy and adult basic literacy from a critical theory and educator's perspective. Critical reading of representative literature and an in-field project offer further insight into contexts and a critical analysis of myths surrounding literacy and illiteracy.

ORLD 6903 and 6918 Advanced Research Seminar
This is the second and fourth course in the AEGIS research sequence and builds on the students' experience in the prior research seminar in two ways: 1) To refine their thinking in terms of more rigorously conceptualizing their emerging dissertation research problem and research questions, and; 2) To begin developing a research design that will become the basis for a more complete pilot study in the coming semester. The course treats both qualitative and mixed methods approaches. The outcome of the final research course is intended to be a draft of the dissertation proposal.

ORLD 6914, ORLD 6915 & 6916 Learning Communities Sequence
This is a three course sequence required of AEGIS students in their second year of study. The course explores dominant discourses in the field,questions of exclusion and inclusion in the discipline, and the formation, nurturing and issues in learning communities. The sequence is delivered first semester face-to-face, second virtually, and final summer face-to-face. In addition to exploring Learning Communities and Communities of Practice students explore different action research methodologies for an applied project conducted in the Spring. During the first Fall semester students prepare think pieces, maintain a journal and post to threaded discussions generative questions and responses to the various readings. The collaborative inquiry groups then formed are charged with identifying a problem, designing a research methodology, and preparing and reporting findings developed for presentation in the final summer. These research products conform to criteria required for submission to a peer reviewed journal or as a prospectus for an experiential session at an academic conference. During the virtual semester students are also involved in reflecting on group work, individual patterns, meta-patterns and sharing reflective pieces on line. They also participate in on-line threaded discussion about readings and issues of marginality and discursive patterns. In the final Summer students not only present these pieces but they use a journal review form to evaluate the research products of the other study groups. This form requires feedback in the nature of the relevance of the project to the audience, the strengths and weaknesses in design of the methodology, the significance of the findings and finally a rating scale indicating accept for publication, accept with recommendations for changes or reject. This simulation prepares students for academic writing, cosponsored research and preparation for contributing to the overall discipline of adult education.

ORLD 6800: Capstone Course
This workshop is offered in the final summer of the AEGIS academic sequence and helps prepare participants to gain closure and ready themselves for entry into the profession. Course content revolves around revisiting earlier writing on identity and philosophy of practice, understanding group dynamics of the learning community, making curricular recommendations for the program, giving interpersonal feedback to each other on presentation, teamwork, and facilitation skills as well as on scholarship. Students reflect and document on how their professional practice has been impacted by the program, the skills they've gained, the skills they still want to learn and competencies they'd like to apply. Group reflection revolves around patterns that have surfaced, future facilitation of research, and contributions they would like to make to the discipline. Participants also consider marketing of the program, and envision future alternatives for the program as well as themselves in the discipline. Dependent on the skills and interests, participants may share with others meaningful work they are pursuing, research agendas on which they would like to collaborate, and means for giving back to the field and the institution and future scholars. Students also participate in a collective "exit interview."

office location

honors and awards

  • Provost Grant – Exploring Collaborative relationships with CU CP&S, 2011-2012
  • Dean's Award -Excellence in Teaching, Teachers College, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006
  • First Distinguished Alumni Award, Adult Learning and Leadership - AEGIS 20 Year Reunion, 2005
  • Institute for Educational Leadership, 1983–1984
  • Main Event Management Institute, 1982-1983
  • International Fellow, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, 1979-80
  • Teachers College Scholarship, 1978-1980

ORLD 4050: Introduction to adult and continuing education

An introduction to the professional field of adult and continuing education: fields of practice (higher education, workplace, management training, social action, literacy and the like, and their evolution, and new challenges); schools of thought such as pragmatism, radicalism and humanism and their transformation and their relevance; clarification of concepts; and discussion of emerging issues and challenges.

ORLD 4053: Facilitating adult learning

In-depth consideration of issues, strategies, and methods for facilitating adult learning. Theory is considered in relationship to practice. Methods are identified that are suited to adult learning in different settings, and to the role played by groups in individual to team learning. No prerequisites required, but learning is enhanced when taken following ORLD 4051.

ORLD 4900: Research and independent study in adult education

Permission of instructor required.

ORLD 6800: Workshop in Adult Education: Technology in Organiztions

This course is designed to help students understand and cope with the many issues involved in developing organizational learning programs and integrating an important component: Technology. The course aims at providing a combination of research case studies together with existing theories on organizational learning in the workplace. The workshop responds to the complex and various dilemmas faced by many human resource managers and corporate executives regarding how to actually deal with the impact of technology on employee learning and management.

Faculty: Langer, Arthur

ORLD 6903: Qualitative Research

This course is the third in a sequence of research courses aimed at helping students understand the qualitative approach to dissertation research. In this course, students begin to scope out the parameters of a topical inquiry and begin to grapple with the many facets of the dissertation proposal.


ORLD 6914: Learning Communities I

Drawing on the literature, presents students with the central challenges of establishing learning communities as an adult education method of practice. Special attention is given to the use of the web as a way of establishing virtual learning communities. Students gain experience through the use of the web to facilitate dialogue linked to their course work.


ORLD 6915: Learning Communities II

Extends the learning from Learning Communities I, with an emphasis on using web technology to facilitate learning communities as part of action learning methods. Special emphasis is placed on developing reflective practice in such communities.


ORLD 6916: Learning Communities III

This seminar focuses on the use of learning communities to facilitate research and inquiry. Students use their own research topics as a focus for the course.


ORLD 6918: Introduction to Research

This course is an intensive seminar designed to introduce doctoral students of a new AEGIS cohort to the discipline and constituent practices of conducting a literature review within context of doctoral studies and dissertation work. On conclusion of this course, students will be able to: a) search for topic-related literature; b) take and organize notes from the review; c) identify qualities of literature constituting the review; and d) possess knowledge of fundamental resources needed for writing the literature review.

Faculty: Marsick, Victoria

ORLD 7900: Directed Dissertation Research

Permission required. All doctoral students eligible for this course must register each semester until a proposal hearing has occurred and a proposal has been approved.

ORLD 8900: Dissertation Advisement in Adult Education

Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D./Ph.D. degrees.

Jeanne E Bitterman appeared in the following articles:

Fall Convocation: Looking to the Future (9/1/1998)