Definition of adult education noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


adult education

; NAmE
(also continuing education) [uncountable] Teaching and learning
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education for adults that is available outside the formal education system, for example at evening classes See related entries: Teaching and learning Cultureadult educationAdult education, sometimes called continuing education, includes courses of general interest at all levels, vocational training for jobs in industry, and academic study for a degree.In Britain most general-interest courses are part-time and usually consist of evening classes held once a week at local colleges, schools and community centres. Some classes are also held during the day. Courses offered include both academic and recreational subjects, e.g. Spanish, local history, yoga (= a system of exercises for the body) and pottery. Students have to pay, but people who are unemployed may get a reduction or go free. Most classes are organized by Local Education Authorities or by the Workers' Educational Association. Some universities also have a department of continuing education, which runs courses and organizes residential summer schools.Some people return to college as mature students and take full- or part-time training courses in a skill that will help them to get a job. The development of open learning, making it possible to study when it is convenient for the student, has increased the opportunities available to many people. This type of study was formerly restricted to book-based learning and correspondence courses but now includes courses on the Internet, and self-access courses at language or computer centres. People in work may receive in-service training to improve their skills, and some people take a sabbatical, a longer period of time off work when they can study or travel.Americans believe that education is important at all stages of life and should not stop when people get their first job. About 40% of adults take part in some kind of formal education. About half of them are trying to get qualifications and skills to help them with their jobs, the rest are taking recreational subjects for personal satisfaction. Schools and community colleges arrange evening classes, and a catalog of courses is published by local boards of education.Many US universities have a department of continuing education. State universities often allow anyone who wants to attend classes to do so, whether or not they are working towards a degree. Adults who never completed secondary school have a chance to take an equivalency exam, and if they pass they get a certificate saying that they have the same level of education as somebody who has finished high school. see also Open University
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: adult education