Recovered Accounts of Saskatchewan Adult Education: A Governance Moment

Klyne, Richard
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Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina

While a good deal is known about the history and governance structures within the Saskatchewan K-12 system, very little is known about the adult education and training sector. Faris (Cassidy & Faris, 1987) indicates that, given the magnitude and importance of the sector, the low status and remarkably little attention paid to the field of adult education is puzzling. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to understand and synthesize the lived-experiences of key decision-makers in order to make recommendations to improve the governance of the Saskatchewan adult education and training sector. Moreover, it is disturbing to find that the researcher’s understandings that emerged were inconsistent, disconnected, and fragmented - of both the history and the governance of the Saskatchewan adult education and training sector. The dissertation employed a direct phenomenological, sociological qualitative research approach. This approach is consistent with Hart’s (2008) Conceptual Research Framework, which utilizes five overlapping perspectives. The five perspectives employed to guide the decision-making processes are ontology, epistemology, theoretical perspective, mythology, and method. In addition to reviewing archival sources, government documents, and related materials from approximately 1944 to 2005, the researcher interviewed 13 of Saskatchewan’s top postsecondary decision-makers to elicit their lived-experiences and to provide recommendations on how to improve adult education and training governance. The findings generated contain six general themes concerning Saskatchewan adult education and training. These themes are discussed in Chapter 6, under the headings of K-12 Concerns, Understanding Complexity, Governance Selection Processes, Global Competition, Legislative Change, and Moral Governance. This study includes five recommendations to improve Saskatchewan adult education and training governance. The five recommendations include (a) clarifying board of governor membership, (b) increasing participant education and training, (c) reviewing Ministerial authority, (d) harmonizing the legislation, and (e) articulating a new vision for the postsecondary adult education system. These themes and recommendations may have implications for understanding the origins and governance of the adult education and training system in other jurisdictions. The study concludes with some suggestions for additional research.

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education, University of Regina. xii, 404 p.