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Copy of 01  Cyril Orvin Houle

Page history last edited by FAUSTINE JUDD 7 years ago

March 26, 1913 - May 6, 1998

Personal Data

Born: March 26, 1913 Sarasota, FL

Married: Bettie Carr Eckhardt Totten May 15, 1947

Children: David Eckhardt Houle

Died: May 6, 1998 Sarasota, FL



Basic Education: Alachua County, 1931-1934

A.B., Education, University of Florida, 1934

M.A., Education, University of Florida, 1934

Ph.D., Adult Education, University of Chicago, 1940

Fullbright Fellow, United Kingdom, 1950-1951

D.H.L. (hon), Rutgers University, 1959

LL.D. (hon), Florida State University & Syracuse University, 1960




Instructor, University of Chicago


Visiting Instructor, University of California, Berkeley (summer)


Assistant Professor, University of Chicago


Associate Professor, University of Chicago


Dean, University College, University of Chicago


Director of UNESCO workshop on Adult Education in Libraries, Sweden


Professor of Education, University of Chicago


Knapp Visiting Professor, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee


Lecturer, University of Washington (summer)


United States representative to the United Nations on Adult Education and Advancement


Consultant, University of Liberia and the University of Nigeria


Visiting Senior Resident Specialist, Oxford


Senior Program Consultant, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan


Awards and Honors

1950-1951  Fulbright Fellow, United Kingdom, 

1966 -         Citation from the Association of the University of Evening Colleges

1966 -         W. P. Tolley Medal from Syracuse University

1967 -         Award for Merit from the National Association of Public School Adult Education

1980 -         Imogene Oakes award for Continuing Learning in the Professions

1981 -         Cyril O. Houle World Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education in his honor

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

1997 -         Kellogg Foundation program to support nine annual Cyril O. Houle scholars at the University of Georgia in Adult and Continuing Education


Membership-Professional Organizations

American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)

Adult Education Association of the U.S.A. (AEA-USA)

American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Association of University Evening Colleges (AUEC)

Chicago Adult Education Council

Chicago Literary Club (Centennial President)

Delta Tau Delta

Illinois Adult Educational Research Association

National Association for Public School Adult Education (NAPSAE)

Illinois Adult Educational Research Association

National Academy of Education

National Advisory Council on Extension and Continuing Education

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Kappa Phi

Quadrangle Club of Chicago

United States National Commission and International Congress of the Advancement of Adult Education

University Club of Chicago

W. K. Kellogg Foundation






Houle, C. O. (1961). The inquiring mind. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. (2nd & 3rd eds. republished by H. B. Long through the University of Oklahoma)

Houle, C. O. (1972). The design of education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Houle, C. O. (19xx).The literature of adult education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fansler, T., Houle, C. O., & Reeves, F.W. (1938). Adult education.

Burr, E. W., Hamilton, T. H., & Houle, C. O. (1947). The armed services and adult education.

Houle, C. O. (1992). Libraries in adult and fundamental education.
Houle, C. O., & Nelson, C. A. (1956). The university, the citizen and world affairs.

Knowles, M. S. (1972). Review of The design of education, by Cyril O.  Houle. Journal of Higher Education, 43, 661-664  


Front Cover


Professional Interest Areas


Activity-oriented learner

Adult Learners

Continuing professional education

Early research and writing on self-directed learning

Goal-oriented learner

Great Books Movement

Houle typology

Inquiring mind

Joining with biological science to expand understanding of learning in adulthood

Learning-oriented learner

Non-traditional study

Participation in adult education

Participation in adult learning

Program planning

Research and theory in adult learning

Systematic design model

Typology, motivation to learn


Major Contributions to Adult Education

Commission on Non-Traditional Study, early seventies

Founding member of Mentors I & II videotape series on adult education, University of Georgia, 1974

Typology – goal-oriented learners, activity-oriented learners, learning-oriented participants

Pyramid of Leadership

Created and ran the first degree granting adult extension program by a major four year university

Chaired 78 doctoral committees (including Malcolm Knowles, Thurman White and Ron Cervero)

Supervised 250+ masters degree graduates

Published 14 books, 21 monographs, and over 145 papers.



In 1982 the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education established the Cyril O. Houle 

Award for Literature in Adult Education to recognize outstanding books that contribute significantly to

the concept of unity of the field of adult education.  Any copyrighted publication, national or 

international, available in English is eligible for the competition.  Since 1983 the award has been given 

annually at the AAACE National Conference.  


2014 -André P. Grace, Lifelong Learning as Critical Action: International Perspectives on People, Politics, Policy, and Practice, Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2013
2013 -Leona M. English and Peter Mayo, Learning with adults: A critical pedagogical introduction, Boston: Sense Publishers, 2012
2012 -Stephen D. Brookfield, Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions, San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011
2011 – Stephen D. Brookfield & John D. Holst. (2011). Radicalizing learning for a just world. San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass, 2011

2010 - Margery B. Ginsberg & Raymond J. Wlodkowski. (2009). Diversity and motivation: Culturally responsive teaching in college (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

2009 - Lorna Rivera. (2008). Laboring to learn: Women’s literacy and poverty in the post-welfare era.  Champaign-Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

2008 – Peter Javis. (2007). Globalisation, lifelong learning and the learning society: Sociological perspectives. New York, NY:  Routledge.

2007 -  Michael Newman for Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators 

      Sharan B. Merriam,  Rosemary S. Caffarella, & Lisa M. Baumgartner (2006). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive (3rd ed.).  San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass-Wiley.

2006 -  Ron Cervero & Authur L. Wilson. (2005). Working the Planning Table: Negotiating Democratically for Adult, Continuing, and Workplace Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass-Wiley.

2005 – Stephen D. Brookfield. (2004). The Power of Critical Theory: Liberating Adult Learning and Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass-Wiley, 2004

2004 – Tara Fenwick. (2003). for Learning Through Experience: Troubling Assumptions and Intersecting Questions. NIACE.

2003 – Alan Knox. (2002). Evaluation for Continuing Education:  A Comprehensive Guide to Success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass-Wiley.

2002 – No award given

2001 – Elisabeth Hayes & Daniele D. Flannery. (2000). Women as learners: The Significance of Gender in adult learning.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

2001 – Frank Youngman for (2000). The Political Economy of Adult Education and Development. London, England: Zed Books.

2000 - Sharan B. Merriam and Rosemary S. Caffarella. (1999). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

1999 - Daniel D. Pratt for (1997).  Five Perspectives on Teaching in Adult and Higher Education. Malabar, FL: Krieger.

1998 - B. Allan Quigley for Rethinking Adult Literacy Education: The Critical Need for Practice-Based Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1997. 

1997 - Sharan B. Merriam and Ralph G. Brockett for The Profession and Practice of Adult Education: An introduction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1996.

1996 - Stephen Brookfield for Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1995.

1995 - Michael Newman for Defining the Enemy:  Adult Education in Social Action.  Sydney, Australia:  Stewart Victor Publishing, 1994.

1994 - Fred M. Schied for Learning in Social Context:  Workers and Adult Education in Nineteenth Century Chicago.  DeKalb, IL:  LEPS Press, 1993.

1993 - Michael Newman for The Third Contract:  Theory and Practice in Trade Union Training.  Sydney, Australia:  Stewart Victor, 1993.

1992 - Mechthild Hart for Working and Educating for Life:  Feminist and International Perspectives on Adult Education.  New York, NY:  Routledge, Chapman, and Hall, 1992.

1991 - Philip C. Candy for Self-Direction for Lifelong Learning.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass, 1991.

1990 - Mark Tennant for Psychology and Adult Learning.  New York, NY:  Routledge, 1990.

1989 - Stephen D. Brookfield for Developing Critical Thinkers:  Challenging Adults to Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass, 1987.

1989 - Ronald Cervero for Effective Continuing Education for Professionals.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass, 1988.

1988 - Peter Jarvis for Adult Learning in the Social Context.  New York, NY:  Croom Helm, 1987.

1987 - Laurent A. Daloz for Effective Teaching and Mentoring:  Realizing the Power of Adult Learning Experiences.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass, 1986.

1986 - Stephen D. Brookfield for Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass, 1986.

1985 - Gordon Darkenwald & Sharan Merriam for Adult Education:  Foundations of Practice.  New York, NY:  Harper and Row, 1982.

1984 - Huey B. Long for Adult Learning:  Research and Practice.  New York, NY:  Cambridge, 1983.

1983 - Robert M Smith for Learning How to Learn:  Applied Theory for Adults.  Chicago, IL:  Follett, 1982.


Additional Resources


James, W. B. (1998).  Houle tribute.  Commission of Professors of Adult Education

           Meeting.  Phoenix, AZ. 


Houle, C. O. (1929-1986). An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University


Boshier, R. (1971). Motivational orientations of adult education participants: A factor analytic exploration of Houle's typology. 

           Adult Education, 21, 3-26.


Boshier, R., & Collins, J. B. (1985). The Houle typology after twenty-two years: A large-scale empirical test. 

           Adult Education Quarterly, 35, 113-130.


Cervero, R. M., Dimmock, K. H. (1987). A factor analytic test of Houle's typology of professionals' modes of learning.

            Adult Education Quarterly, 37, 125-139.


Furst, E. J. (1986). An interpretation of the Boshier-Collins cluster analysis testing Houle's typology. 

             Adult Education Quarterly, 36, 235-237.


Knowles, M. S. (1989). The making of an adult educator: An autobiographical journey.

             San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Knowles, M. S. (1972). Review of The design of education, by C. O. Houle. Journal of Higher Education, 43, 661-664.


Knox, A. B. (1984). Response to Woll's critique of Houle's Continuing learning in the professions.

             Adult Education Quarterly, 35, 51-54.


Woll, B. (1984). The empty ideal: A critique of Continuing learning in the professions by Cyril O. Houle. 

            Adult Education Quarterly, 34, 167-177.


Photo Gallery








Houle, C. O. (1961). The inquiring mind. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

Houle, C. O. (1960). The Effective Board

Houle, C. O. (1964). Continuing Your Education

Houle, C. O. (1971). Residential Continuing Education

Houle, C. O. (1972). The design of education.  San Francisco, CA Jossey-Bass.

Houle, C. O. (1973). The external degree.  San Francisco, CA Jossey-Bass.

Houle, C. O. (1980). Continuing learning in the professions.  San Francisco, CA Jossey-Bass.

Houle, C. O. (1984). Patterns of learning: New perspectives on lifespan learning.  San Francisco, CA Jossey-Bass.

Houle, C. O. (1992). The literature of adult education: A bibliographic essay. San Francisco, CA Jossey-Bass.

Houle, C. O. (1992). Governing boards: Their nature and nurture. San Francisco, CA Jossey-Bass.





Hiemstra, R. P. (2004).  Cyril Houle: Personal vita.  Retrieved on June 17, 2008.  From: http://www-distance.syr.edu/pvitacoh.html 


International Adult and Continuing Hall of Fame. (1996). Cyril O. Houle.  Retrieved on June 17, 2008.  From: http://www.halloffame.outreach.ou.edu/1996/houle.html


Jacqus Cattell Press. (Ed.). (1974).  Leaders in education. New York, NY: R. R. Bowker.


Knowles, M. S. (1972).  Review of: The design of education.  Journal of Higher Education, 43, 661-664. 


Merriam, S. B., & Brockett, R. G. (1997).  The profession and practice of adult education: An introduction.  San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 


Syracuse University Library (1929-1986). Cyril O. Houle Papers Special Collections Research Center. Retrieved on July 2, 2007. From: http://library.syr.edu/digital/guides/h/houle_co.htm


Jacque Cattell Press. (1971). Leaders in Education: A Biographical Directory  (4th ed.). 445. New York, NY: Author. p. 445.





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