The Meaning of Adult Education by Eduard Lindeman

“The Meaning of Adult Education by Eduard Lindeman” is a book authored by Eduard Christian Lindeman (May 9, 1885 – April 13, 1953) in 1926. The author earned recognition due to his excellent work on the issue of adult education. Lindeman had a passion for advocating towards teamwork plus community establishment. In 1930, he played a considerable role in the creation of North America social work. Lindeman acted like a philosopher and a social worker as his opinion towards adult education had significant influence. Just as the title states, the book is not entirely only for adults. However, because the whole life entails learning of different aspects, education contains no perimeters. The book identifies as adult education since adulthood, plus maturity describes its boundaries.

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Review of the Book

The Meaning of Adult Education explains the extraordinary characteristics of adult students. Lindeman proposes in his book that education advances from circumstances but not the subjects. Therefore, that entails the meaning of adult education. He stated that the teacher discovers a new function (Kolben, 1962). The teacher is no longer the ruler of the class but the individual who stands in front of their students to provide guidance. The book also states that a teacher points who contributes to study in proportion to the relevancy of their proofs plus experiences. Besides, the book bases on being an adult learner and adult teacher, making the following assumptions concerning adult learners (Lindeman, 1984). Adult learners gain interest in learning when they undergo needs plus curiosities. Also, their tendency toward education is life-centered. Besides, the most abundant source of adult learning experiences is that they possess a profound need for being self-directing. The author’s aim in the book was to explain that education’s vision should not only revolve around formal and classroom work. However, education should revolve around life’s everyday possibilities, for instance, situations, non-vocational thoughts, plus individual experiences.

The book states that the method for adult education would be through situations and not subjects. Most education systems place students or learners in the second category, where they have to adjust to the rules and requirements of the classroom (Kolben, 1962). However, adult education is a different education line whereby teachers and tutors are the secondary aspects of learning. Students are the primary (Lindeman, 1984). Learning revolves around the needs of students and their interests. According to Lindeman, adults would find themselves in this education based on their situations, for instance, work, family, or their recreation interests. Adult education commences in the case where adults find themselves into a school through their circumstances and only put to work when necessary. Teachers and tutors remain at the second level, where they must follow the interests of the students. The situation approach to learning implicates that studying procedure is at the start due to reality setting. Intelligence does its purposes concerning facts and not concepts.

Furthermore, adult education encourages student-centered learning criteria. The technique is useful as it enables the learners to focus on their areas of development. Teachers who follow this kind of technique not only influence classwork’s knowledge of the student but also assist their learners in developing other types of skills. Examples of skills developed include social and responsibility (Lindeman, 1984). This kind of learning also encourages individual-based learning. Student-centered enables students to focus on their curious aspects. Another advantage is that students choose the course. Students are not always interested in every session, thereby by student based enables students to select the learning they would like.

Furthermore, Lindeman states that adult education does not follow a formal path. Also, this system is not merely designed to improve skills. However, it relates people to their community and characters — besides, adult education purposes to improve procedures of social action. Adults also require alterations (Kolben, 1962). However, the change should be rational. Lindeman, therefore, adds an active obligation to gradual social movement to these abilities. According to the book, adult education does not entirely follow a formal path, implying that adult education follows the informal path meaning, the learning process is in a relaxed manner and nature. Thus informal education is a general phrase for learning that occurs outside the context of a structured education curriculum (Lindeman, 1984). Informal education also entails learners’ comfort within a course in a regular classroom; however, knowledge is not limited to class. This type of knowledge applies conversations, examination, plus experience widening.

Moreover, Lindeman states that adult education does not require features of formal education, for instance, entry and exit examinations when joining. Adult learners have the will to enter and leave classroom sessions at any time of their choice. They may choose to exit when they note that learning do not have a match to their standards. Adult learners mostly study life issues, not diplomas plus commencements as with the formal education type. Adult education also removes the external learning tokens for the learning procedure to fall or stand on its core merits. As adult education remains free from the oppression of topic-tradition, its creators can boldly analyze yet in inviolable domain of informative method (Lindeman, 1984). Indeed, if this education procedure has the mandate to create a dissimilarity of excellence in the application of cleverness, its creators will excel in devoting their primary matter to the technique but not content.

Furthermore, according to Lindeman, adult education precisely has the aim of training people to be extra fruitful, partaking in smaller collective entities which act to increase important skills. What is more, we have the capability of redeeming our personalities if we can only react and solve those problems that directly affect us. Thus, we reclaim our characters by paying more attention to minority groups. Decentralization, variety, plus local self-rule relies upon the order. Individuals may like wisely to sacrifice the order only if applied externally due to strong dissimilarity (Lindeman, 1984). Hopes flow in a modest belief that variety can make life more exciting than conventionality. Also, from the new assumption that lively involvement in motivating activities furnishes suitable motivations for consistent growth.


The meaning of Adult Education is a book by Eduard Lindeman. The book advocates mainly on the issue of adult education, and education system applying simple techniques for changing a life. Formal training, on the other hand, advocates towards the preparation of life. Lindeman states that learning should be student-centered and not teacher centered. Student-centered enables learners to actively choose their interests in education. Also, learning should base on situations and not subjects. According to Lindeman, there is no formal entry or exit of this education procedure through the application of exams. Lindeman also encouraged working in smaller groups as this leads to a worthwhile education scheme. Consequently, Lindeman’s book clearly states the process of a different education system that would as well improve the skills and responsibilities of individuals apart from preparing learners for examinations.



Kolben, K. (1962). THE MEANING OF ADULT EDUCA TION. By Eduard C. Lindeman. Mon treal: Harvest House, 1961. 143 pp. 2.00paper, 3.50 cloth. Adult Education, 12(2), 128-129.

Lindeman, E. C. (1984). The meaning of adult education (Vol. 1). Ravenio Books.