Date: December 1986
Creator: Hancock, Donald H. (Donald Hugh)
Description: The problem of this study was to determine to what extent contemporary adult education theory has similarities to and origins in ancient Athenian ideas about education. The methodology used in the study combined hermeneutics and the critical theory of Jurgen Habermas. Primary sources incuded Aristotle, Plato, Aristophanes, and Diogenes Laertius; secondary sources included Jaeger, Marrou, Dover, and Kennedy. In the analysis of Athenian adult education, three groups of adult educators were identified—the poets the sophists, and the philosophers. The poets were the traditional educators of the Greek people; their shared interest or way of perceiving the world emphasized the importance of community cohesion and health. In Athens in the mid-fifth century B.C., a new group of educators, the sophists, arose to fill a demand of adults for higher and adult education in the skills necessary to participate in the assembly and courts. The sophists emphasized a pragmatic human interest and taught the skill of rhetoric. Socrates and Plato created a new school of educators, the philosophers, who became vigorous ideological opponents of both the poets and the sophists. The philosophers exhibited a transcendental interest or approach to knowledge; the purpose of life was to improve the soul, and the preferred ...
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