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Eduard C. Lindeman

Eduard C. Lindeman

Hall of Fame Class of 2002

Eduard Lindeman is one of the great historical figures in adult education. He was born in St. Clair, Michigan in 1885 of Danish immigrant parents. Orphaned at an early age he worked his way from a series of labor-intensive jobs to become one of the founding philosophers in the academic field. He wrote the landmark book, The Meaning of Adult Education in 1926. This work was republished by Oklahoma Research Center for Continuing Professional and Higher Education in 1989. It is considered one of the most influential pioneer works of the field expressing the conception of learning as a lifelong process.

Through his writings on adult education representing only a small portion of his total work, and through his active involvement in adult education committees, associations, and programs, Lindeman both articulated and implemented a vision of adult education, which still constitutes the conceptual formation of the field of theory and practice in the United States. 

Lindeman served as Director of the Workers' Education Bureau of America from 1926 to 1937. He was editor of Workers' Education while also serving as trustee at the New School for Social Research in New York. He held many visiting professorships from 1934 through 1950 at Temple University, the University of California, Stanford University, Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Delhi, India.

His contributions to adult and continuing education include an extensive body of literature and scholarship. In the 24 years between the publication of The Meaning of Adult Education and his retirement in 1950, he published approximately 204 articles, 107 book reviews, five books, 16 monographs, and 17 chapters in other works. He edited four books, shared joint authorship of another, and gave at least 44 lectures of which some written record remains.

Professor Eduard Lindeman's legacy of literature and scholarship has today's graduate students still finding his works thought provoking, stimulating, and inspirational.