Adult Basic Education (ABE) The education of adults who never began or completed the normal kindergarten-through-twelfth-grade schooling experience. Designed primarily to eliminate adult illiteracy, Adult Basic Education can range from elementary school-level reading, writing and arithmetic for illiterates to high school-level American history to help prepare immigrants for citizenship.
Most often, ABE is associated with non-English-speaking immigrants in major cities, and it has seldom reached out to American-born, rural illiterates in the Deep South or mountain areas. ABE peaked during the waves of immigration between the Civil War and World War I, although it is once again expanding to meet the needs of increased immigration from Latin America.
Adult Basic Education; 10 Facts You Must Know
Adult education is a broad range of academic, vocational, professional and avocational courses of study designed for adults no longer attending formal school or college. Offered on site, on line or by mail by a wide variety of institutions, adult education may range from courses for hobbyists or for personal improvement to courses on nuclear physics, political theory or philosophy.
In between these extremes are courses that teach arts and crafts, vocational, technical and professional skills and standard high school, college and graduate school courses. Some courses teach personal or family health, others political and social activism and others art or music appreciation.
Unlike Adult Basic Education, adult education assumes literacy and, depending on the particular offering, an elementary or even a high school education. Students can earn academic credit for some adult education courses and even certificates or diplomas, or they can simply take courses for the sake of learning. Usually offered on a part-time basis during non office hours, adult education is available in many public schools, at two-year and four-year colleges, at universities, at proprietary trade schools and in museums, libraries and other public and private institutions.
It is also available from associations and organizations, via television and radio, from correspondence schools and through individual instruction. Some adult education falls under the category of continuing education, which usually consists of advanced courses designed for professional improvement at various times during midcareer. Some professions such as teaching require periodic continuing education to assure tenure or salary increases.