George F. Aker
Hall of Fame Class of 1997
George F. Aker had achieved a distinguished record of accomplishment in the field of adult and continuing education by the time of his death in 1987.
At the University of Chicago, Dr. Aker was Director of Studies and Training in Continuing Education where he pioneered the development of internship training for adult education administrators. In 1963, he joined the faculty of Florida State University and was instrumental in establishing the Department of Adult Education. For six years he served in the elected post at FSU as Director of Educational Management Systems. In that capacity he was responsible for working with faculty and administrators in the development, coordination, and administration of graduate education and research programs in adult, higher, and technical education; educational assessment and evaluation; policy planning and analysis; international development education; and educational psychology, sociology, and philosophy.
He has served as President of the Adult Education Association of the USA and on the boards of NAPSAE and FAEA. In 1980, he was elected to a five-year term as Vice President of the Interamerican Federation of Adult Education. He was a founding member of the National Seminar on Adult Education Research and was elected its Chair in 1966 and 1967. He was also elected Chair of the AEA Commission on Research in 1966. In addition, he chaired AEA's Professional Improvement Committee and was an active member of the National University Continuing Education Association (now UCEA).
His primary research interests were in the improvement of preparation programs for adult educators, technology of non-formal education, and the psychological aspects of adult learning and life cycle development. His numerous papers, articles, and books about adult education ranged from the use of methods and techniques in adult education to the motivational characteristics of the disadvantaged.