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06 Alan Boyd Knox

Page history last edited by Jay 8 years, 6 months ago Saved with comment

March 19, 1931


Personal Data


Born: March 19, 1931, Albany, NY.  Son of Milton B. (Attorney)  and Dorothy Gilbo (Director of hospital volunteers)

Married to Linda Kotcher in 1952, 5 children




B.A., Syracuse University, 1952

M.A. Syracuse University, 1953

M.S. Syracuse University, 1955

Ed.D., Syracuse University, 1958






Instructor, Art, Syracuse University,Syracuse, New York


Administrator, Adirondack Conference Center, Syracuse University


Associate Professor, Adult Education,University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska

Director, Office of Adult Education Research


Professor, Adult Education, Teachers College,Columbia University, New York


Professor, Adult Education, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign


Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Director of Continuing Education and Public Service, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign


Professor, Adult Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison,Wisconsin

Chair, Department of Continuing and Vocational Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin

Chair, Teaching Academy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin


Awards and Honors


1977 and 80                   AEA Imogene Okes Award for Outstanding Research

1980                              Distinguished alumnus award, Syracuse University School of Education                           

1987                              Fulbright Research Grant

1996                              Inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame


Membership-Professional Organizations


Chairman, Adult Education Association (AEA) Commission of Professors of Adult Education, 1975-77

First Chairman, AEA Commission on Research

Represented AEA on Joint Committee in cooperation with NAPC, NUEA, and ACHE

Past member AEA Executive Committee

Active in state AEA Associations in New York, Illnois, and Wisconsin

Consultant, UNESCO, Summer 1968

Phi Delta Kappa

Director-at-large, American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), 1982-83

President, AAACE, 1984-85

Editor-in-chief, series on New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 1979-84

Intiated Adult Education Research Conference, served as chair, 1959





Extension Education. Encyclopedia of Educational Research. New York, NY: Macmillan.

Continuous Program Evaluation. Administration of Continuing Education, Washington, DC: National Education Association.


In-service Education in Adult Basic Education. Tallahassee, FL:  Florida State University.

Program Evaluation in Adult Basic Education. Tallahassee, FL:  Florida State University. 


Last Gamble on Education: Dynamics of Adult Basic Education (with J. Mezirow & G. Darkenwald). Washington, DC:  Adult Education Association.


Adult Development and Learning. San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.




New Directions for Continuing Education (Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Enhancing Proficiencies of Continuing Educators, Jossey-Bass.






Proficiency Theory of Adult Learning. Contemporary Educational Psychology Journal.

Developing, Administering, and Evaluating Adult Education (Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


Leadership Strategies for Meeting New Challenges. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.








Helping Adults Learn: A Guide to Planning, Implementing, and Conducting Programs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

International Perspectives on Adult Education, ERIC, 1988.

Strengthening Adult and Continuing Education: A Global Perspective on Synergistic Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass,


(Co-author with Joe Corry). The Wisconsin Idea for the 21st Century. Madison, WI: The Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved from http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/pubs/feature/wisidea.pdf



Evaluation for Continuing Education: A Comprehensive Guide to Success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.



Professional Interest Areas


Adult Education                                       


Adult Development and Learning

Public Service and Continuing Education


Functions of Higher Education Institutions

Painting, tennis, skiing, camping, music.



Major Contributions to Adult Education


Consulting editor with Jossey-Bass Publishing 1979 

Identified factors that contribute to the decline of problem solving skills with age

Proficiency theory--optimal standards of proficiency related to adult life roles

Prolific writer of over one hundred articles, books and other publications

Research in adult development and learning

Synthesizer of research




Additional Resources


"Sidelights"Alan B. Knox told Thomson Gale from Contemporary Authors: Biography: "I taught my first adult education course in 1946 and, during the subsequent half-century, my writing, research, teaching, administration, and editing have focused on adult and continuing education. Writing has been central throughout my career" (2004).


"My writings have addressed all aspects of lifelong learning opportunities for adults who study on a part-time or short-term basis. Such opportunities are provided by all types of organizations. Included in these are educational institutions such as schools, community colleges, and universities. Most education programs for adults, however, are provided by enterprises (business, industry, government), labor unions, religious institutions, libraries, museums, associations, and community agencies. The education, training, and extension programs offered by these segments of the broad adult and continuing education field are distinctive. I have consistently emphasized the benefits of sharing and exchange of insights from research and practice across these segments of the field.

"This comparative interest extends to international perspectives, in which analysis of educational programs for adults in other countries can yield both new understandings of other approaches from abroad and deeper comprehension of societal influences on lifelong learning in one's own country."



Photo Gallery


International Adult and Continuing Education

Hall of Fame

Alan Knox

















Alan Knox


"Innovation and Change in Adult Education Organisations" 

May 23, 2011




American Education Week Presentation: Alan Knox

"Transcendent Leadership" 

Produced by: MERIT Media    Posted: November 28, 2011





University of Glasgow: CR&DALL SEMINAR SERIES 2011-12: 5/23/11

Professor Alan Knox

"Innovation and Change in Adult Education Organisations" 





Helping Adults Learn: A Guide to Planning, Implementing and Conducting Programs (Josse Bass Higher and Adult Education)                                          



Evaluation for Continuing Education: A Comprehensive Guide to Success (Josse Bass Higher and Adult Education)                   













Alan B Knox. (1971; 1974). In J. Cattell (Ed.), Leaders in education (4th ed., p. 522),(5th ed., p. 606). New York, NY: R. R. Bowker.

Darkenwald, G., & Merriam. S. B. (1982). Adult education: foundations of practice. New York: Harper & Row.

Gale, T. (2004). Contemporary Authors: Biography of Alan Knox.

Knox, A. (1977). Adult development and learning (p.xvi). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Knox, A. (2008). Alan Knox's futures project. Retrieved on June 26, 2008. http://www.education.wisc.edu/elpa/people/faculty/knox/futures.htm

Merriam, S. B., & Caffarella, R. S. (1999). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Website: http://www.halloffame.outreach.ou.edu/1996/knox.html Retrieved on June 5,2008.





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