On any given week millions of adults around the world can be foundgathering in libraries, parks, zoos, arboretums, and museums inperson or online. These cultural institutions are seen asrepositories of knowledge and collections of a community's culturalor natural heritage. However, they are much more. They arestructures that promote cognitive change: commons, places ofcommunity outside of home and work, where individuals and groupsgather to share and discuss ideas. Cultural institutions may besites of conflict and contestation where economic and politicalchallenges call into action institutional purpose and mission, anddebates emerge over whose story is told. They can also serve assites of deliberative democracy that foster social change andreform, where community members can engage with challenging andimportant societal issues. This volume aims to forge a strongerrelationship between adult educators and educators within culturalinstitutions in an effort to better understand adult learning andteaching within these sites of nonformal education and the rolethese institutions play in society.
This is the 127th volume of the Jossey-Bass higher educationquarterly report series New Directions for Adult andContinuing Education. Noted for its depth of coverage, NewDirections for Adult and Continuing Education is an indispensableseries that explores issues of common interest to instructors,administrators, counselors, and policymakers in a broad range ofadult and continuing education settings, such as colleges anduniversities, extension programs, businesses, libraries, andmuseums.