Roger Morris, Ph.D., has dedicated his career to adult and continuing education for more than 30 years, earning him recognition and respect as both scholar and activist. His leadership has been of crucial national significance to Australian adult education and has helped to put Australia on the international adult education map.
Morris is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), acknowledged as one of the world’s leading centers for adult education scholarship. As a scholar, he is a recognized authority on the historical development of adult education in Australia, and has been active in the field of comparative adult education. He has also completed research on the continuing professional development of adult educators and on the role of community-based adult education in economic and social development. In recognition of his expertise, he was selected as a Kellogg Visiting Research Scholar to Syracuse University.
He spearheaded the development, implementation, and accreditation for the first Australian Bachelor of Education Degree in Adult Education, serving both as chair of the program development committee, which wrote the curriculum document and as its initial director. He has occupied senior academic administrative positions in the Faculty including Assistant Dean and the Director of Academic Planning and Services.
Morris has played a major and sustained role in Adult Learning Australia (ALA), the peak body representing Australian adult education at the national level. In addition to being an elected member of its National Board continuously since 1987, he has served as National President, 1996-98, and, for the balance of the time, as National Secretary.
His scholarship has improved both national and international understanding of the history of the field in Australia and in practical terms he has been applauded for his ability to bring to the deliberations of the boards of the community-based adult education organizations, on which he has served, longer-term views and broader perspectives.
Morris has served as an Australian representative at major international adult education assemblies including the 5th UNESCO World Conference, the 2nd Asian and South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education General Assembly, and the World Congress of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), as well as representing the ICAE at the 32nd International Assembly of the World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Profession.
A longtime activist in the labor movement, Morris has filled a number of elected teacher and higher education union positions over his career. In recognition of his valuable contributions, he has had Life Membership conferred upon him by both the NSW Teachers’ Federation and the National Tertiary Education Union
His research and teaching have helped to develop and promote an authentic body of useful adult education knowledge firmly rooted in local Australian practice. His work, however, has sought to ensure that, while an understanding of and an appreciation for the unique aspects of the historical development of Australian adult education must inform practice, it must also be considered within the context of the wider international adult education movement.
Morris’ long-term leadership role in Australia’s preeminent adult education NGO, Adult Learning Australia, has done much to establish, with both government and the wider community, adult education as an important driver of cultural, social and economic development in the context of building a better world for all.
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