In Quest of Walter Smith: The Past, Present, and Future Impact of Visual Art in Adult Education

Meredith Amanda Cole


Walter Smith is a relatively unknown historical figure in the art world, but he is essential to defining adult education's past, present, and future in the area of visual art. His artistic endeavors in America sparked facets of the way art education is practiced today. However, along the way we have lost the tenets of social change which he sought but never accomplished. In chapter one. I introduce the purpose of the research. In chapter two. I explain the position Walter Smith entered when coming to America. I also detail Smith's Herculean social reform efforts for adult education and why popular appreciation of what he did was impossible. In chapter three, I analyze the changes in American adult art education inspired by Smith, and the paradigmatic changes in adult art education since Smith up to present-day. In chapter four, I assess documentation of the present situation of adult education in art in the United States. I review the thought process behind what is required in teaching adult students and its current practice. In chapter five, I discuss Paulo Freire's theory of social transformation as a backbone for adult art education within some possible frameworks: CBAE, DBAE, and through the aid of Internet and computer technology. In chapter six, I address the dichotomy that is simultaneously splitting the fields of adult education and adult art education.