The politics of responsibility: A theory of program planning practice for adult education

Ronald M. Cervero, Arthur L. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article proposes a theory of program planning practice that takes power and interests as central to action and asks what educators can do to plan responsibly. Program planning is defined as a social activity in which educators negotiate interests in organizational contexts structured by power relations. We explain four central concepts on which the theory is based: power, interests, negotiation, and responsibility. By tying these four concepts together, the theory urges planners to nurture a substantively democratic planning process in the face of power relations that either support or threaten this vision. We argue that this theory meets the criteria for any social theory to be empirically fitting, practically appropriate, and ethically illuminating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-268
Number of pages20
JournalAdult Education Quarterly
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes

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