On any given week millions of adults around the world can be found gathering in libraries, parks, zoos, arboretums, and museums in person or online. These cultural institutions are seen as repositories of knowledge and collections of a community's cultural or natural heritage. However, they are much more. They are structures that promote cognitive change: commons, places of community outside of home and work, where individuals and groups gather to share and discuss ideas. Cultural institutions may be sites of conflict and contestation where economic and political challenges call into action institutional purpose and mission, and debates emerge over whose story is told. They can also serve as sites of deliberative democracy that foster social change and reform, where community members can engage with challenging and important societal issues. This volume aims to forge a stronger relationship between adult educators and educators within cultural institutions in an effort to better understand adult learning and teaching within these sites of nonformal education and the role these institutions play in society.
This is the 127th volume of the Jossey-Bass higher education quarterly report series New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education. Noted for its depth of coverage, New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education is an indispensable series that explores issues of common interest to instructors, administrators, counselors, and policymakers in a broad range of adult and continuing education settings, such as colleges and universities, extension programs, businesses, libraries, and museums.