Development of Adult Education:
Since the eighteenth century, social, cultural, religious and political associations in U.S.A., made efforts for teaching of adults through lectures, etc. Lyceums method of 1820 and Chautauqua Movement of 1874 are some such efforts. Adults were educated on the basis of lectures through recreational programmes.
In 1890, some universities and higher education institutions conducted correspondence education programmes. Development in the field of adult education took place in 1925 after the World War I. During this period, reading rooms, libraries, schools and museums were established for the expansion of adult education.
In 1950, more attention was paid to all such agencies. Sixty percent of the States of America have public, extensive and universal adult education system, responsibility of which rests with State Governments. Other collective, individual and religious institutions get useful help from the Federal and State Governments.
Along with the provision of constructive, commercial and cultural general education, there is a provision of necessary vocational education in the system of adult education. About sixty million people have benefited from this system of education.
There is a provision of a full-time teacher for running the system successfully. Social-service educationists, leaders, subject-specialists and vocational experts extend full co-operation where full-time subject teachers are not available.
Why Adult Education? Adult education in U.S.A. has broad aims. Adult education is a strong medium of vocational, social, individual, cultural and economic development for the adults. This education helps in solving various economic, social and mental problems.
Forms of Adult Education:
Adult schools and adult education institutions are established for the extension of adult education and its organisation. Provisions exist for education from the primary to the university level in these institutions. Art, science and vocational subjects are taught in these schools. Correspondence method seems useful for adult education.
Among informal educational institutions, the Lyceums, reading rooms, libraries, museums, radio, television, movies, etc. are very popular. Agriculture programmes, too, are conducted through these mediums. Through them qualities of cooperation, sociability and morality are inculcated.
Finance of Adult Education:
The Federal Government in America offers financial help and co-operation to adult education institutions. They encourage extension of adult education by giving grants worth millions of dollars every year.
Thus various public, community and local institutions conduct adult education with responsibility and are obliged by the Government grants.
State Governments, too, offer grants for expansion of adult education. The system of grant by State Governments is not the same in every State. Various religious, community and private and commercial institutions co-operate in the extension of adult education. Expenditure on adult education is supplemented by fees and local financial sources.
The Federal Government undertakes the responsibility of expenditure on university adult education programmes and it is also supplemented by fees charged from adults. Private and community donations are also collected to meet the expenditure on adult education programmes.