(a) School for Adults:
These schools conducted lectures and other social programmes in the beginning. But later on, they were declared regular institutions for adult education. First of all in the nineteenth century, New York People’s Institute was established for this purpose.
All other such adult schools are confined to adult education only and undertake the responsibility of continuous education of adults. These schools are managed and organised by the teachers of universities and other educationists. Any person, of any qualification, can take admission in these schools.
These schools impart education through lecture method and other educational programmes for catering to the needs of local people, their occupations and specific abilities.
These schools study the traditions and needs of the local people from time to time and try to fulfill them as far as possible. These schools maintain co-ordination in the educational programmes, curriculum and their organisation.
(b) Institutes of Adult Education:
In 1839, Lowell Institute, Boston, based, on the lecture system, was established. This educational institution seems to be an ideal institution. Apart from the lecture system, vocational and technical programmes are also organised here.
This institution is very popular and thousands of people take the benefit of education there. Another notable institution of adult education is the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science. This institute was established in 1823, long before the Lowell Institute.
This institute is financially sound. It has got separate departments for lectures on science, art, and literature. The music department here is one of the best in the whole of U.S.A. It is a unique institution for training in music.
Children’s Museum of Arts and Science and Botanical Garden are sufficiently interesting and famous organisations which benefit numerous children, young adults and the old.
(c) New Schools for Social Research:
New schools for social research were established for adults receiving graduate and higher education. These institutions were established in 1919 for the first time. At that time, their aim was to conduct progressive and developing educational and social programmes.
This institution provides opportunities for new researches on social problems through social studies and social programmes, discussion, lectures on related problems and projects.
Main social studies subjects include history, social psychology, labour, behaviourism, political science, criminology and mental hygiene. Lectures and correspondence teaching methods are employed for teaching. Learned men and women with social inclinations do much successful work in such institution.
In the field of adult education, there is no provision for regular curriculum and its implementation in the informal system of education. In this system, adult education is imparted through Lyceums, public clubs, museums, libraries, reading rooms, dramatic clubs, radios, movies, press and various games and sports In 1914 following the Smith Lever Act, an effort was made by the Agriculture Department to implement Agriculture Agent System.
Through this system provision for the education of farmers in rural areas was made in subjects like agriculture education, familiarity with modern scientific means, psychology, house-keeping and such other subjects for progressive social life.
Those adult education centres, too, which provide for continuous general education, are also known as Informal Education Centres because their provisions are quite different from those of formal education system. In those centres citizens’ committees, labour unions, commercial business firms and adults’ clubs, mostly participate.
These institutions try to give vocational training and increase professional efficiency through their co-operative and collective efforts. Such adult education is also known as labour education. Innumerable programmes related to adult education are broadcast by radio and television. The contribution of mass-media in the spread of informal adult education is immense.
American adult education presents unique examples of public co-operation. People there seem to be quite alive to their need for education. There are many good public libraries and reading rooms.
Similarly, there are about 70,000 rental libraries and reading rooms. Branches of libraries and reading rooms have been established in rural areas.
For rural adult education or for agriculture education, magazines and journals, books, news pamphlets, documentary films and educational films are provided. Mobile libraries have been arranged for extension of education from one place to another.
These mobile libraries distribute reading materials in various rural areas. A-attractive programmes are organised in big reading rooms of public libraries. Attractive and interesting education is provided through discussion and book review clubs.
In cities, the functions and use, of the museums seems to be more praise-worthy. These museums, by organising exhibits, archaeology architecture, paintings, art and sculpture, bring educational revolution for millions of people. Various educational programmes continue throughout the year and adults of different groups gain useful knowledge through them.