John M. Peters began his career in adult education in 1963 as an Assistant County Extension Agent in Kentucky. He is currently Professor of Adult Education and Director of the recently initiated Doctoral Program in Collaborative Learning at the University of Tennessee--Knoxville. He has worked with hundreds of adult educators who have pursued graduate degrees in adult education and related fields. Prior to the development of the new graduate program, Dr. Peters founded a Center for Literacy Studies at his university. He has managed to develop strong international ties of his own and has contributed to professional development programs in a number of countries outside the United States. For example, in 1995 he conducted workshops, seminars, and courses at nine universities in Australia and New Zealand and served as Visiting Professor at University of Technology in Sydney. In North America, he has lectured and conducted seminars and staff development activities at more than 30 universities and has served as Visiting Professor at North Carolina State University, Cornell University, and the University of British Columbia.
Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Dr. Peters designed and conducted federal and state- supported research, development, and training programs. He was Director of seven Title I Higher Education Act projects that provided support to several dozen community college interns in Tennessee. He was also Director of a Tennessee Valley Authority-funded research project in the early 1970s and, in 1980, was Principal Investigator and Director of one of the few National Institute of Education research grants ever awarded adult education professors.
He has been very involved in professional association activities since the late 1960s. He served as Secretary, Vice President, and President of the Tennessee Adult Education Association (AEA). He also served as Chair of the AEA Publications Committee and was instrumental in forming the new Handbooks of Adult Education in the early 1980s.
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