On October 15th and 16th, I attended the 4th Network for Public Education Conference, held this year in Oakland, CA, along with two Adult Learners, Critina Munoz-Ulrich and Denise Carrasco, an Adult School teachers, Kristen Pursley, and an Adult Education supporter (and retired community college instructor), George Pursley. This was my third NPE Conference, having attended the first one in Austin, Texas in 2014 and presented along with Kristen Pursley and Bruce Neuburger at the second one in 2015 in Chicago.
|George, Cristina, Denise, Kristen, Cynthia (myself)|
As always, there is much to learn from, share, and digest from the conference. I plan to slowly share some of what I learned in this blog and to post some writings from others who attended. Videos from some of the conferences will be posted on the NPE website soon.
Adult Education is part of Public Education – but sometimes it feels as if we are seated at the “kid’s table.” In truth, we are not only at the table, we are part of the table, holding up and stabilizing the other members with our contributions.
It is important that we attend conferences and belong to organizations that are not specific to Adult Education for two reasons:
1. To bring our voices, knowledge and concerns to these usually larger discussions
2. To learn from them and to bring back what we learn to the Adult Ed community
That takes time and effort we in Adult Ed sometimes don’t have – given our struggles with funding and stability, new rules and regulations. But we need to find the time and to support each other in participating in these conferences and organizations, including fundraising the attendance of teachers and students. Students, in particular, need to be supported in attending these events.