Adult Education Research Conference

Changing the Landscape of Lifelong Learning: Charting New Territories and Re-defining Education for Adults

When: TBD

Pre-Conferences | Download Conference Program/Schedule | Registration & Fees | Hotels | Group Outing

UMSL faculty, staff, and students of the College of Education, the Department of Adult Education, and the School of Professional and Continuing Studies are pleased to host the 54th Annual Conference of AERC at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

This conference provides a forum for adult education researchers to share their experiences and research findings with students, colleagues, and practitioners from around the globe.

The Conference will be held on the campus of the University of Missouri–St. Louis in the J. C. Penney Conference Center. Named after none other than James Cash Penney (JC Penney), it is the only privately financed building on campus. The campus is minutes away from the airport and nearby hotels and restaurants. See Conference Hotels section for suggested room reservations at special conference rates.


To kick off the weekend activities, we have three pre-conferences:

  1. African Diaspora
  2. Asian Diaspora

21st Annual African Diaspora Pre‐Conference | African Diasporic Engagement in the 21st Century

The purpose of this pre-conference is to provide a forum in which graduate students can critically dialogue about theoretical and practical issues related to the education of adults in the African Diaspora.

Call for Proposals

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of relevance to conference themes and conceptual clarity. Proposals for paper presentations and poster sessions pertinent to one of the following pre-conference themes are invited:

  1. Historical research on people of African descent who are involved in adult and continuing education.
  2. Research on contemporary issues, problems, and concerns relevant to the African Diaspora in the area of adult and continuing education.
  3. Conceptual or theoretical research relative to adult and continuing education for learners of the African Diaspora.

Please submit your proposal to:
Dr. Doris A. Flowers
Department of Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies
Center for Adult Education, Burk Hall 267
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue San Francisco, CA 94132

Instructions for Proposal and Paper Submissions

Proposals, a one page abstract and one page cover sheet, must be postmarked or emailed by March 15, 2013. This is a blind review process; therefore it is essential to follow these instructions:

  1. Submit five copies of a typed, single-spaced, one-page abstract, not to exceed 600 words. The abstract must include the paper title at the top, but not the name of the author(s). Include one copy of a typed cover sheet which includes the paper title, your name, address, phone and fax numbers, e-mail address, and a signed warrant statement which states: “I warrant that if my paper is accepted, I will attend the Pre-conference and submit electronically an eight (8) page (single-spaced, typed) summary for inclusion in the African Diaspora Pre-Conference Proceedings to
  2. I understand that if this summary is not submitted by April 30, 2013, my paper will not be included as part of the 21st Annual African Diaspora Adult Education Research Pre-Conference Proceedings.” Please sign the warrant statement.
  3. The final paper should follow the AERC guidelines found at

The Sixth Asian Diaspora Pre‐Conference | Bridging East with West: Engaging Dialogue in Adult Education Research and Practice in the Global Context

The Sixth Asian Diaspora Adult Education Pre-conference, in conjunction with 2013 Annual Adult Education Research Conference, will be held at University of Missouri-St. Louis on May 30, 2013. The purpose of this pre-conference is to provide an opportunity in which individuals from both Asian ancestry and internationally can engage in dialogue about Eastern and Western perspectives on issues, concerns, and problems relevant to the adult education research and practice in the global context. This is an annual conference (now being restored from the 5th one held in 2010) that offers a forum for faculty and graduate students who are interested in researching, contributing to and learning about East and West to present their scholarship and research.

Theme of the Pre-Conference

This year’s theme is: Bridging East with West: Engaging Dialogue in Adult Education Research and Practice in the Global Context. In the globalized world, the need for learning from one another about the strengths and limitations of different theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of education, and adult education in particular, has become greater than ever. Many countries have encountered similar changes and challenges brought on by globalization. Education has been seen as an effective instrument and given the responsibility by many countries for training people to meet the needs and demands of globalization in various arenas.

Seemingly, globalization has created a “world policy or world culture” (Tröhler, 2009), or has transformed the world’s culture into an increasingly standardized phenomenon. Studies show that countries tend not to respond to globalization or meet the needs of the competitive world economy in the same way or with the process (Cheung & Chan, 2010). Different cultures and traditions perceive the world differently. Thus, learning from each becomes essential in human history. Both East and West have commonalities and uniqueness in terms of their social cultural traditions, political, economic, and educational characteristics that contribute to their own adult education research and practice, which ideally should be shared globally. Yet, “educational research, as well as educational planning, in ‘developing world’ settings tended to be dictated by European (Western) perceptions of what was good for the Other” (Fox, 2007, p. 118). Unfortunately, the important aspect of culture, which refers to all aspects of life, including the mental, social, linguistic, and physical forms of culture, has often been overlooked (Masemann, 2007).

As a result, “by adopting western theories and practice wholesale, and applying these in the classroom without rigorous research and consideration, the potential contribution of Asian education researchers has been largely bypassed or discounted” (Nguyen, et al. 2009, p. 110). Consequently, western models have strongly influenced education in terms of what to teach, why to teach it, and even how to teach it at local and international levels, all of which contribute to the increasing issues and challenges when learning from the Other (Kubow & Fossum, 2007).

In the global context, there is a clarion call for bridging learning between East and West in the theory and practice of adult education. It helps us to look at both sides, meaning that “we must hear both sides, we must be able to listen to the experience of intelligent life expressed in discourses” (Milligan et al., 2011, p. 52) or we may not otherwise recognize when we are carelessly over-applying Western norms and values.

We believe bridging learning between East and West helps create new opportunities for development as well as new challenges for adult education. Thus, engaging in critical and mindful dialogue becomes necessary.

About Proposal and Presentation Format

We are soliciting paper and presentations of two types. The first type of paper/presentation is a scholarly paper that draws from relevant literature and reflects on a relevant adult and continuing, and higher educational topic fitting to the theme of the pre-conference. Examples of such papers include position papers, opinions, or literature reviews. The second is a research paper that reports on original empirical research on an adult educational phenomenon or practice relevant to the theme. All research methodologies are welcome (e.g., quantitative, qualitative/interpretive, mixed).

Two presentation formats will be used: Paper presentations (reserved for a single paper and/or investigation), a Panel presentation, in which three or more presenters present papers on a common theme (Note: Presentation formats will be determined by the number and nature of accepted proposals, presenters' preferences, and available time).

If you are currently conducting research or have conducted research around the theme areas, we invite you to submit your proposal to:

Qi Sun, Ed. D
Associate Professor,
Adult and Postsecondary Education Program,
Professional Studies Department,
College of Education,
University Wyoming

Proposals must be received by April 7, 2013. If your proposal is accepted, you will need to submit (8-10) page paper for inclusion in the pre-conference proceedings. In order to be included in the Pre-conference Proceedings, your final paper must be received by August 18, 2013.

Proposal Submission Instructions

This is a blind review process; therefore you must follow these instructions:
Your cover sheet must include the name, institutional affiliation, phone number(s), e-mail addresses of all authors, the address of the first author, the paper title, and a signed warrant statement as follows:

“I warrant that if my paper is accepted, I will submit a formally written 8-10 page (single-spaced) summary for inclusion in the Pre-conference Proceedings. I understand that if this summary is not submitted by August 18, 2013, my paper will not be included as part of the Asian Diaspora Adult Education Pre-Conference”

Your two-page proposal should include:

The 6th Asian Diaspora Pre Conference Committee

Qi Sun, Co-Chair
Associate Professor,
Adult and Postsecondary Education Program,
Professional Studies Department,
College of Education,
University Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming 82071

Elizabeth Erichsen, Co-Chair
Assistant Professor, Education Doctoral Programs
College of Human Development and Education
School of Education
North Dakota State University


The conference includes over 100 paper presentations and roundtables, and two symposia.
Topics include:

Download Conference Schedule


Conference Hotels Information

AERC Conference attendees may make reservations for Drury and Pear Tree Inn Airport Hotels, May 29 – June 2 (Wednesday – Sunday). Hotel fliers are attached for more information about each hotel.

Special conference hotel rates have been secured at two nearby hotels: Drury Inn ($89.95) and Pear Tree Inn ($69.95). Both the Drury Inn and Pear Tree Inn are located at St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport about 4 miles from UMSL’s campus. Each hotel has free shuttle service to and from the airport and hotel. Limited shuttles will be available from the hotel offers to and from UMSL at the start and end of each day’s conference. You can use the St Louis Metrolink (light rail) from the airport station to UMSL North Campus where the conference is held.

Hotel pdf’s are available that provides hotel amenities. Both hotels include a hot breakfast buffet and have undergone extensive renovations within the last year.

Follow the steps below to reserve a room at either hotel.

For more information or questions, contact Jim Jordan, Senior Coordinator School of Professional and Continuing Studies (314) 516-7250.

Friday Evening Suggested Group Outing in Forest Park

Visit for more information for each of the above attractions. Metrolink will take you to the North side of Forest Park and it is a 10 minute walk to the Art Museum.

What’s special about St. Louis?

You can visit many attractions for a nominal fee or free. The Metrolink, the St. Louis rail system, makes it easy to find your way around town and to several restaurants and other points of interest. 

We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis.