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A Bibliography of Essential References for Scholar-Practitioners in Adult Learning & Leadership
Below are some essential references for the field of adult learning and leadership that arguably cover a broad scope of its theories and practices. Each reference is followed by a brief description and/or comments (provided by Leodis Scott, Ed.D. 2010) about its significance and place in the field. The references are presented in APA (6th edition) format (with the exception of the ISBN).
- American Psychological Association (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. Washington, DC: Author. [ISBN: 1433805618]
This is the authoritative reference to conduct citations and formats for various publications. The sixth edition is the latest, but additional versions are expected to continue, so stay current.
- Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (Jossey Bass Higher and Adult Education). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. [ISBN: 0787901318]
This book is a classic in the field that focuses on the importance of critical reflection in teaching practices. Stephen Brookfield has continued to publish more on this subject and many other works, which are similarly interesting and equally relevant for practitioners.
- Caffarella, R. S. (2001). Planning Programs for Adult Learners: A Practical Guide for Educators, Trainers, and Staff Developers, 2nd Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. [ISBN: 0787952257]
Program planning and course design are another component of adult learning. This work introduces different models of program planning and the key components for any practical and effective design.
- Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, & Mixed Methods Approaches, 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [ISBN: 1412965578]
As a scholar-practitioner, conducting research is paramount. This work gives an overview of research designs and provides comparisons of the different kinds of research that are considered qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method.
- Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education: an introduction to the philosophy of education - The Original Classic Edition. New York, NY: Touchstone. [161382095X]
This is a seminal work in the field, and perhaps the most difficult to read and comprehend. At the same time, it is the reason that makes it a great work! There is always something new to learn from it and as one learns more about the field, the more one begins to acquire profound meanings about John Dewey’s views on education, philosophy, and democracy.
- Elias, J., & Merriam, S. B. (2005). Philosophical Foundations of Adult Education (3rd ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger. [ISBN: 1575242540]
Although the field is widely considered an applied science with practical applications, there are still philosophical underpinnings. This book gives an overview of the philosophies of adult education.
- English, L. M. (Ed). (2008). International Encyclopedia of Adult Education. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. [ISBN: 0230201717]
A comprehensive reference for understanding the multiple terms used in the adult learning and continuing education field around the world. Each entry is written by an expert on the subject who also provides additional references.
- Foss, S. K., & Waters, W. (2007). Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield. [ISBN: 0742554406]
Some scholar-practitioners are pursuing doctorate degrees and this guide is a practical resource for the entire journey. This work provides a step-by-step approach to each stage in the dissertation process, from proposal to defense.
- Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2006). They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. [ISBN: 0393924092]
An understated skill needed in the field and entire publishing community is the ability to write academically. This short work provides some of the common techniques used to accurately express the academic works of others.
- Gray, D. E. (2009). Doing Research in the Real World. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [ISBN: 1847873375]
If overwhelmed by other textbooks on research design, this book is a clear introduction for the novice researcher. It gives quick explanations about the differences between epistemologies, methodologies, and research methods, simplifying some of the most confusing parts of understanding the different kinds of research.
- Houle, C. O. (1992). The Literature of Adult Education: A Bibliographic Essay (Jossey-Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass [ISBN: 1555424708]
This is an historical work that places the field in an evolving progression of literature and contributions. Cyril Houle also have written other classic works such as The Inquiring Mind; yet all of these works reveal his passion for the field and with his invitation for others to join and contribute.
- Jarvis, P. (2004). Adult Education and Lifelong Learning: Theory and Practice. New York, NY: RoutledgeFalmer. [ISBN: 0415494818]
A prolific writer on the subject of lifelong learning, Peter Jarvis explores the theory and practice of adult and continuing education broadly and offers his own views about many contemporary issues and debates.
- Knowles, M., Swanson, R. A., & Holton, E. F. (2011). The Adult Learner, Seventh Edition: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier. [ISBN: 1856178110]
Malcolm Knowles is often described as the father of adult education or for introducing the notion ofandragogy (the education of adults). This work is the latest edition of a classic work that describes distinctive characteristics of adults in terms of education, learning, and experience.
- Lindeman, E. (1926). The meaning of adult education. New York, NY: New Republic. [ISBN: 1179159837]
If you are one who likes classics, this work is a good start to learn the principles of the field. Many a great quote of Eduard Lindeman you will find concerning adults, education, and experience. There is an available 2011 edition published by BiblioBazaar Press.
- Marsick, Victoria J. & Watkins, Karen E. (1990). Informal and Incidental Learning in the Workplace (International Perspectives on Adult and Continuing Education). New York: Routledge. [ISBN: 0415031419]
Today, rapid change is a constant challenge in the workplace, and thousands of individuals need to be involved in continuous learning. Traditional training approaches, however, do not emphasize informal and incidental learning. Furthermore, since informal learning is seldom designed, learning outside of a structured experience may lead to mistaken or dysfunctional learning. Strategies for improving informal learning are urgently needed. Victoria Marsick and Karen Watkins respond to this need by taking a look at many assumptions about workplace learning outside of the classroom and by proposing methods to improve it. They develop a theory of informal and incidental workplace learning based on current developments in training and human resource development which they illustrate with case studies telling stories of adult education and human resource development practice. Their recommendations for the improvement of training which follow from these studies provide readers with guidelines on how to apply the ideas presented here.
- Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2006). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. [ISBN: 0787975885]
This is perhaps the most comprehensive work on the field, both past and present. These authors are authoritative leaders seeming to grasp much of the past, ongoing, and developing theories and practices.
- Merriam, S. B., & Simpson, E. L. (2000). A Guide to Research for Educators and Trainers of Adults (2nd ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger. [ISBN: 1575241420]
One of the challenges for scholar-practitioners in the field of adult learning is finding references specifically dedicated to their field. Most useful research guides comes from social sciences and psychology, but not this work. This book gives detailed information for researchers in the adult learning field, which for that reason alone; it’s a “must-have.”
- Mezirow, J., & Associates. (2000). Learning as Transformation: Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress (Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. [ISBN: 0787948454]
Jack Mezirow’s work on transformative learning is a signature theory in the adult learning and leadership programs at Teachers College-Columbia University. This book is a later contribution concerning the theory with a host of significant contributors.
- Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [ISBN: 1452203407]
Enormous literature exists on the subject of leadership, but the Peter Northouse book gives a clear description about the many types of leadership. The book also serves as a source for leadership comparisons and individual assessments across various contexts.
- O’Neil, Judy & Marsick, Victoria J. (2007). Understanding Action Learning (AMA Innovations in Adult Learning). New York: AMACOM [ISBN: 0814473954]
As much as adult learners can absorb in a classroom, they learn and retain a lot more on the job. Action Learning, or AL, can be based on any of several different schools of thought, and there is much debate as to which is ideal. The authors advocate tailoring the best attributes of each approach to the specific purpose and the learning environment. Drawing on theory from Self-Directed Learning, Learning from Experience, and Transformative Learning, Understanding Action Learning enables the reader to make an informed decision about which approach or combination to use in his or her organization, and provides: * a theoretical model that explains the different approaches to AL, and a framework for identifying which approach to use * a focus on co-design in creating Action Learning programs * practical tools, assessments, and exercises * illuminating stories and case studies from the field Combining top-shelf research with real-world experience, Understanding Action Learning is a crucial resource for adult educators everywhere.
- Bresler, L.; Cooper, D. & Palmer, J. A. (Ed). (2001). Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education: From Piaget to the Present Day (Fifty Key Thinkers) (Routledge Key Guides). New York, NY: Routledge. [ISBN: 0415224098]
Another challenge of adult education is its place in the broader concept of education including primary and secondary (K-12), even post-secondary (undergraduate college). This book gives an account of many thinkers in the overall field of education and their perspectives.
- Paul, J. L. (2005). Introduction to the Philosophies of Research and Criticism in Education and the Social Sciences. [ISBN: 0130422533]
Conducting research in education requires an understanding of research paradigms and positions. James Paul gives a current analysis of different paradigms and offer more understanding about issues such as quantitative versus qualitative research, or the principles of “education science.”
- Pratt, D. D. (1998). Five Perspectives on Teaching in Adult and Higher Education. Malabar, FL: Krieger, FL. [ISBN: 089464937X]
This is an exceptional work that explores the beliefs, intentions, and actions related to teaching approaches. This book, accompanied with a self-assessment, provided an opportunity to understand teaching perspectives of practitioners and fellow colleagues.
- Sheared, V., Johnson-Bailey, J., Collin, S. A. J., Peterson, E., Brookfield, S. D., & Cunningham, P. M. (Eds.). (2010). The Handbook of Race and Adult Education: A Resource for Dialogue on Racism (Jossey-Bass Higher Education). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. [ISBN: 0470381760]
Central to adult education is to critically explore issues of race and racism; this work advances and promotes these issues. Take note of the editors, because they have made additional contributions about issues often on the fringes of common discourse, but are imperative for the advancement and evolution of the field.
- Yorks, Lyle (2004). Strategic Human Resource Development. South-Western College Publishing. [ISBN: 0324071787]
Human Resources Development is written with the primary purpose of covering core and emerging issues in Human Resource Development. The book's secondary purpose is to offer a specific perspective on HRD, one that links the practice of HRD to enhancing organizational strategy and developing performance capability through learning interventions. This text begins with a strategic view of the organization from a general management perspective as a driver for the HRD function -specifically creating a focus on strategic learning and developing performance throughout the organization. The goal of the text is to provide learners with a framework to understand the role of HRD in the strategic imperatives of an organization, the foundations of HRD practice, and stimulate debate as to the role of HRD in today's organizations.