A therapeutic model of adult education in canada: Skills and academic upgrading programs in the province of alberta

Carlos Alberto Torres, Daniel Schugurensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article reports research findings of a comparative research project, supported by a generous grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). We studied adult education policy implementation in the Province of Alberta, Canada; in Mexico City and a rural district of the State of Mexico; and urban and rural districts of Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania, East Africa. The study was conducted between 1987-1991 by three research groups coordinated internationally by Carlos Alberto Torres. Interviews were conducted in the three countries with 50 policy-makers, 155 adult education teachers, and 447 adult learners. Policy-makers and teachers wer interviewed using structured, in-depth interviews, and students were surveyed twice, at the beginning of the programs in 1988-89 and 15 months later. Only public programs in adult education, skill upgrading, and literacy training were selected, including Alberta Vocational Centers (AVC) and Community Vocational Colleges (CVC); seven different public programs in Mexico, and Folk-Development Colleges and adult literacy programs from the Institute of Adult Education in Tanzania. Rural and urban programs were studied in Northern and Central Alberta, in the Federal District (Mexico City) and a rural district outside Mexico City, and in a rural municipality and the urban area of Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania. Two types of programs were studied in the three research settings: academic upgrading programs (consisting of literacy training and adult basic education) and skill upgrading programs Although this article reports specific research findings for the province of Alberta, it benefits from the findings of the international study and from criticisms and analyses made by members of the international teams. Hence, the authors are grateful to Suleman Sumra and Yosiah Bwatwa from the University of Dar-Es-Salaam, Raj Pannu and M. K. Bacchus from the University of Alberta, and Sylvia Schmelkes, Carlos Muñoz Izquierdo and Susan Street from the Center for Educational Research in Mexico, for their many contributions to this research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-161
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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