Philip Candy

Philip C. Candy

Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Dr. Philip C. Candy is one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected scholars in the areas of adult and continuing education. As a scholar, leader and policy advisor, he has promoted and demonstrated the crucial value of lifelong and life-wide learning to the individual, the community, the nation and the world. This can be seen in his landmark research and publications, influential leadership roles in Australia and abroad, and advisory assistance to national and international educational organizations. His work on learning and teaching in a digital environment helped change the terms of debate around information literacy and digital access, leading to his overseeing the online learning transition at the heart of the largest public sector employer in Europe.

Candy earned an Ed.D. in Adult Education in 1987 from the University of British Columbia before producing his seminal 1991 work, Self-direction for Lifelong Learning: a Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice, which helped establish self-directed learning (SDL) as a field of inquiry and policy application in adult education and lifelong learning. The book received the Cyril O. Houle Award for Literature in Adult Education in 1991 and is among the most cited works in the SDL field. A subsequent national report on which he was lead author helped to establish lifelong learning as a priority in Australian higher education.
In 1994, he co-authored co-authored the book Pioneering Culture: Mechanics' Institutes and Schools of Arts in Australia, based on extensive research not previously undertaken.

His 1994 report, Developing Lifelong Learners Through Undergraduate Education, for the Australian National Board of Employment, Education and Training (NBEET), spurred universities around Australia to incorporate lifelong learning into their target outcomes and catalyzed the promotion of teaching practices linked to it.

As a National Research Fellow with the Australian Department of Education Science and Training, his report Linking Thinking: Self-directed Learning in the Digital Age (2004) proposed a new model of SDL, identifying the six major conditions that must be met in order for people to be able to participate in the digital world. In 2012, he was awarded the Malcolm Knowles Memorial Self-Directed Learning Award in recognition of his contributions.

Candy was recruited to an executive team responsible for planning the creation of a National Health Service (NHS) University in the United Kingdom. He went on to lead the professional development and continuing education program for the NHS, providing the educational basis for implementation and rollout of a completely new system for training throughout the country.

Candy has consulted with institutions throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa, as well as the Australian Development Assistance Bureau (now AusAid), and international organizations including UNESCO, OECD, the World Bank, the Japan National Institute for Educational Research, the Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education in Singapore and Manila, and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation in London.

He has served as professor and director of academic staff development at the Queensland University of Technology, deputy vice-chancellor (scholarship) at the University of Ballarat, national research fellow for the Australian Department of Education Science and Training, director of learning strategy and standards for National Health Service University (NHSU) and  national director of education, training and development for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, and as deputy vice-chancellor (global learning) for the University of Southern Queensland.

He has published extensively over a career spanning four decades of scholarship, as well as serving as a member of the editorial boards for Active Learning in Higher Education, Adult Education Quarterly, the Australian Journal of Adult and Community Education, Higher Education Research and Development, Professional Education through Practical Experience, and Studies in Continuing Education. He was a review editor for the Australian Journal of Social Issues, Higher Education(Europe), the South Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, and Unicorn: Journal of the Australian College of Education.